Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Succulent Brined BBQ Pork Chops

Well, who knew?  I am possibly the last cook on earth that had never thought of brining a pork chop - or maybe you never have either.  I've heard of brining chicken before frying or turkey before roasting, but never a pork chop.  So I rarely BBQ a pork chop because today's lean piggy doesn't have the fat she used to and it makes for a horribly dry dinner.  Enter sweet brine.  I found a recipe on line by Guy Fueri and altered it a bit, but let me tell you - after brining these babies, the outcome was so tender, I will never cook a pork chop again without brining first.  I will leave the BBQ sauce up to you if you choose to use it.  After brining I patted dry the pork chops and seasoned with salt and pepper and there you have it.  One of the kids I fed last week inhaled dinner and then presented me with nothing left but a plate and the cleanest bone ever.  So why brine?  Why I don't know.  But the science works!  If you want to do a simple brine for pork chops, just soak them in a pan of 1 1/2 quarts of water with 3 tbsp. of salt and put into the refrigerator for one hour.  If you'd like to take your BBQ to the next level, flavour your brine with sugar and spices.

Pork Chop Brine:

In a pot over medium heat add, 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 tbsp. of garlic powder, 1 tbsp. of whole black peppercorns, 1 tbsp. of dried thyme, 1 tbsp.. of mustard powder and any other spices you desire.  Now put into the fridge for an hour...or longer - pat dry, season and BBQ.  Enjoy

Friday, July 11, 2014

Roast Pans of Veggies and They Will Never Go To Waste Again!!!

Happy Summer!  Hi everyone, I've missed posting here and plan on making regular appearances again.  Not sure where I've been, but need to try lots more fun recipes so I can share them with you.  I have however put together full binders of all of my most favourite recipes from the past 10 years and that took a little while. Summer is such a gorgeous and abundant time for produce but if you're like me, you get so joyfully overwhelmed in the grocery store that you overload your grocery cart with too much produce and it can easily go to waste before you get a chance to eat it up!  Over the last two days I've taken to pan roasting every single vegetable in my refrigerator.  Of course you can also BBQ them as well.  All you need to do is layer your peppers, eggplant, onions, mushrooms on a pan with a good dose of olive oil, pepper, salt, garlic, rosemary, you name it and pop it into the oven at 350 until perfect.  Last night I roasted a full pan of cauliflower and fennel.  I then put the roasted peppers, eggplant, onions and mushrooms into a 1 liter Tupperware and have since put them over chicken and tossed them into a tortellini salad!  My goodness they are amazing!  Today, I will have the cauliflower and fennel combo with something...not sure what yet!  So roast your veggies my friends and put an end to their neglect.  You will love them!