Sunday, July 06, 2008

Dinner Battles...Woman Versus Man...Woman Wins...




Before trekking up to Washington, DC, for a good dose of family (and a stop at Michel Richard's Central, of course-more on that tomorrow), my constant companion concocted a pork chop in brandy sauce dinner (actually using Calvados, the French brandy made from apples), after her fresh fish desire was trampled by the dour offerings of the local supermarket. Too tired to go any further, I picked up a couple of pork loin bone-in chops that were on sale for just $2.49/lb. These chops are about a pound each, and CC, who was really craving the side dishes of curried jasmine rice, and carrot 'pudding', put them in the oven for about 40 minutes, then finished them on the stove with the aforementioned Calvados. She made the carrot sides by pureeing them, then adding butter and cream. Into the oven with the chops. I did the rice (boil water, throw in rice and curry powder, cover, light a cigarette). The Calvados adds such a clean flavor to the scraped up bits, then tossed over the chops in the skillet, where the sauce caramelizes and soaks into the juicy flesh, leaving a bit of crunch on the outside of the chops. Very satisfying on so many level....








Not to be outdone in the pork/brandy competition (I'm a bad loser, but then so is she), upon our return to Miami, a week later (not that I'd been thinking about it much...), I threw a pork loin in the oven. Then I boiled some potatoes for mashed potatoes, which I was going to cook according to Chef Richard's recipe; but then I realized I was too lazy to brown, and then separate the butter, whip it in a little at a time, etc. Hey-my A/C's not working that well-the fewer steps the better-at least that's what I tell myself. I added a wrist flip of vanilla to the mashed potatoes and a slight shake of truffle oil I've had lying around for a while, and softened butter and warmed cream. Then I took the loin out of the oven, and while it was resting (you should always let your oven-roasted meats rest a bit before serving), I scraped out the brown bits from the roasting pan on top of the stove, while I deglazed the pan with Calvados. Then I added a little (what else) butter and cream, and some dried fried onions. I have to report that the mashed potatoes were silky and lumpy at the same time, and the subtle hints of truffe and vanille classed up the dish (as anyone who knows me will attest, I'm all about classing up shit). The loin was moist under the 'brandy cream' sauce, but it didn't have the overall succulence and juiciness of the chops. I served fresh corn, also, which, for reasons I understand perfectly, people feel the need to slather in butter-I prefer it au naturel. Next up, what else, pork loin tacos...






Next time, I'll get you, darlin'....

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