Thursday, January 15, 2009

Not as good as it might look

Tried to do a Moroccan pork chop dish. Lesson learned. When Alton Brown says to brine your pork chops for 1-2 hours, he means 1-2 hours because the osmosis in your brine will make it taste like salt-lick if you brine overnight. I guess no pork chops for me on weekdays. Even if I brine in the morning when I leave for work, that will go for too long. The tomatoes are just washed, halved, sprinkled some kosher salt on top, add parm near the end and the green is my failed attempt to make a mint sauce. The other thing that went wrong was the pork overcooked in the oven. Lesson learned by my meat thermometer, meat cooks fast in the oven. When it's that thin, I saw the temp going up about 1 degree every 10-20 seconds. Meaning to get your pork chop to the recommended 140 degrees, that is only about < 10 minutes. I should have stuck with the pan searing but I was afraid of burning the rub which I couldn't taste because the chops were too salty. the rub was coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and red peppers ground together in my coffee bean grinder (for spices) and then mixed together with olive oil and harissa paste. Mint tea was pretty successful. But in the category of "what else could go wrong" my bag of sugar came in contact with a still warm stove top and sugar came pouring out the burnt hole caking the stove in instant caramel.

Don't overbrine.
Meat cooks fast. A meat thermometer is a good way to learn just how fast that stuff cooks.
Sugar + hot stove top does not play well.

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