Friday, April 17, 2009
Braised Pork Chops with Homemade Curry and Chutney Sauce
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I grew up as "Big" Mary in a two Mary household. "Little" Mary - all five feet of her - was my mother. If you phoned the house you'd have to specify which of us you wanted to talk with. I hated it. When our daughters arrived I was determined to spare them such ignominy. Oh, they have pet names but those are sealed within the bosom of the family. That's fine, except when you need to know which child I'm speaking of. So, for today, I'll be referring to my first born as "Number One Daughter." When we get together and family updates are complete it's time to talk food. You need to know that Number One Daughter is fearless in the kitchen and she does know what she's doing. If that meat on your plate looks like boar chances are it is. Get the drift? This year she set me onto Nancie McDermott's The Curry Book - Memorable Flavors and Irresistibly Simple Recipes from Around the World. As a rule of thumb, I won't buy a cookbook until I've found and tested at least two recipes, but Number One Daughter's recommendation was all I needed to place an order for the book. I was surprised by the simplicity of the recipes and the depth of flavor that could be produced with so few ingredients. I know it's not necessary to make your own chutney - Major Gray's would do nicely - but it's fun to know how its done. You can use any curry powder you like, but I've included a recipe that will allow you to make your own for the same reason. So, today we'll have a three-fer.
Braised Pork Chops with Curried Chutney Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 (1-1/4-inch thick) center cut pork chops (brined if possible)
1 tablespoon butter
1tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoon finely chopped shallots or scallions
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 cup Madeira, Marsala or cram sherry wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup light cream or half-and-half
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup mango chutney
1/4 cup chopped chives or scallions
1) Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Pat pork chps dry; dredge in flour mixture. Set aside.
2) Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute per side. Remove chops to a platter.
3) Add shallots and curry powder to skillet; cook until shallots are softened and coated with curry powder, about 3 minutes. Add wine and broth, scraping fond from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil.
4) Combine half-and-half and cornstarch in a small bowl. Gradually add to skillet. Dice any large fruit pieces in your chutney. Stir chutney into skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is golden and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
5) Return pork chops to pan; turn to coat both sides with sauce. Cover and simmer, turning once, for a total of 20 minutes, or until done. Transfer to a serving platter, cover with sauce and sprinkle with chives. Yield: 4 servings.
Cook's Note: I always brine pork chops. Ingredients and directions for brine are here. This extra step is well worthwhile. You'll have wonderfully moist pork chops.
Fresh Mango Chutney...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 large, ripe mangoes
1 large apple
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/4 cup diced crystallized ginger
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1) Peel mangoes and cut into bite-size chunks. Place into a large (3-quart) saucepan. Peel, core and coarsely chop it; add to saucepan along with onion, bell pepper, raisins, ginger, sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, pepper flakes and salt.
2) Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender and liquid thickens into a light syrup, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate. Chutney will keep for 3 to 4 weeks in refrigerator. Yield: About 3 cups.
Curry Powder...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
3 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cayenne
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
Place all ingredients, except turmeric, in a frying pan. Toast spices over medium heat until they darken, release their fragrance and wisps of smoke rise from pan, about 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Stir in turmeric. Store tightly covered and away from heat and light. Shelf life is about 3 months. Yield: 1/2 cup.