Spicy Jerk Pork Chops

I don’t know if this really qualifies as jerk, but it is spicy and delicious so I think that still counts.  A lot of people get really uppity about pork being cooked properly too, I’ve never known anyone to get trichinosis though so I cook my pork a little rarer (read: juicier and not dry as a bone) than recipes tell me too.  Full Disclosure: This recipe is completely stolen from Fine Cooking.

Serves 2
Spicy Jerk Pork Chops
2 center cut, bone-in pork chops (3/4 in thick)

For the Jerk
2 T olive oil
4 medium scallions, coarselychopped
3 Serrano chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
2 T fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
1 T fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
3/4 t ground allspice
1/8 t ground Cinnamon

1. Put the oven rack 6 inches from the broiler and turn it on high.

2. Put all the jerk ingredients in a food processor and puree.

3. Salt and pepper the pork chops and then smear with the puree.

4. Place pork chops on a broiling pan and broil for 7 minutes a side.

Dumplings and Pot Stickers

Last night I got back into the swing of things after a lot of eating out with some dumplings and pot stickers (from what I can tell fried dumplings).  They were pretty easy but take foreevvveeeerrrrr to roll out all of the little dumpling shells and then wrap them up, so definitely plan ahead.  I had them with some Sweet Thai Chili sauce which I fell in love with in Australia, and some soy sauce.  The filling was really good with a nice amount of ginger to add some flavor to the pork.  My onion slices were a little large, so in the future I’ll mince them up better, I don’t think they’re supposed to be noticeable.

Another issue I had was that with the dumplings the skins (thats what I’m going to call them) got really loose, like what I imagine a fat guy after liposuction is like, and all the filling just fell out after I took my first bite.  I guess a remedy would be to make little dumplings so they go down in one bite.  I was also a lot of concerned that the pork wouldn’t be cooked all the way with these little cooking times but rest assured they are just fine.

I also had quite the adventure trying to mix the dough classical style on the counter with no bowl.  It is way more difficult than it looks to not break the crater.  Also, water and flour don’t come off counter tops so easily.

Makes 36 dumplings

Dumplings and Pot Stickers
Pork Filling
1 lb          ground pork
4              cloves garlic, minced
1/4          onion, minced
1 Tbs       soy sauce
2 Tbs       Mirin
1 1/2 Tbs grated ginger
2 tsp         sesame oil

Shells
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup     cold water

1. Mix all the filling stuff together, refrigerate 20 minutes.

2. Mix it in a bowl.  It should  not be sticky and bounce back when you press on it.  Sprinkle with flour and cover with a towel and let sit 30 minutes.

3. Cut into 36 even pieces and roll those out into 5 in diameter circles.  This is going to take forever so you should cover all the dough you’re not immediately working with so it doesn’t dry out, especially after being rolled.

4. Fill the circles with a teaspoon of stuffing, fold in half and seal shut.

Dumplings – Bring a ton of water to boil, drop in dumplings one at a time so they don’t stick to each other and cook 3-5 minutes

Pot Stickers – Bring some sesame oil up to medium high heat.  Add pot stickers and cook 2-3 minutes until bottoms are brown.  Add enough water to cover 1/3 way up the pot stickers, cover and cook 3 minutes or so.

Herb Roasted Pork Loin

Last night I had a couple of people over for Dexter and pork.  This recipe comes from Cole and is part of a larger recipe book he is working on.  I was expecting 8 or 9 people over so made 4 pounds, but it turned out only about 5 showed so I ended up with 2 extra pork loins (which means tasty cuban sandwhiches in the days to come).

I am naturally fearful of recipes that call for dijon mustard because way too many things do (I’ve seen “authentic” beef strogonoff recipes with it, I’m pretty sure peasants in Russia did not have dijon) but the pork turned out really really good, very moist and flavorful.  The herbs definitely came through in the pork and complimented the  tang of the mustard.  To go with it Will made some green beans and onions in butter and we also had wild rice with walnuts and raisins.

Serves Eight

For Pork
4 lbs pork loin
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil
6 sprigs rosemary
8 sprigs thyme
8 sprigs savory
8 sprigs sage
5 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T Dijon mustard

For Sauce
1/3 C dry vermouth
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 C chicken broth
1 1/2 T butter
1 1/2 T flour

Making It
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Coat the pork in salt and pepper and heat some oil in our broiler ban over a burner.  Put in the tenderloin and brown on all sides for a few minutes.
3. Place half the herbs on a broiler rack and put the pork on top.  Mix shallots, garlic, oil and dijon and smear the mixture all over the pork.  Put in the oven fat side up.
4. Cook about an hour (until thermometer reads about 155-160).  Put the remaining herbs on top, tossed in some oil, and cook about 5 more minutes.
5. Pull out pork and set aside to rest about 15 minutes while you make the sauce in the bottom of the broiler pan.
6. Put the broiler pan back over a burner on medium.  Add vermouth and dijon, scrape brown bits off bottom of pan.
7. Melt butter and whisk in flour.  Add to the vermouth mixture and simmer till thick.
8. Serve pork with sauce.