Saturday, 27 October 2007

A Late October Storm

Posted by Andrew

Maybe it's because work's been going at a more hectic pace than usual for the last few weeks. Maybe it's because my sis has been torturing me with her pics of her latest cooking and baking creations. Whatever the case may be, my desire to cook up some more interesting dishes was full steam ahead this week which resulted in me cooking up a storm. So Tuesday I posted my entry about making Fettucine with Chicken and Bell Pepper Cream Sauce, which I actually made on the previous Saturday. This week I was thankful I didn't have any evening meetings to go and therefore had a bit more time to cook and relax at home.

Therefore, on Thursday I decided to do the other cream-sauce pasta dish I was waffling over on Saturday, Fettucine with Smoked Salmon and Asparagus. This one took a bit less time than the Chicken Fettucine, and required less cream. I had to add a bit of pasta water to ensure it didn't get too dry, but the sauce was sufficient. The flavouring was nice, the horseradish providing a subtle sour zing to the dish complemented by the dill.

I noticed this week that I still had some maple syrup in my fridge from when Mom made maple glazed ribs when my family was here during the summer. Seeing how pork seems to lend itself to sweet things I decided to try getting a pork chop and maple syrup to mix. I noticed online that there were recipes for maple mustard sauces that involved dijon. However, I did buy grain mustard the previous weekend, so I decided to do something different. Last night I'd thawed a pork chop which I then marinated in a mix of olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper, sealing it in its marinade in a zip bag overnight.

Tonight, I pulled out the pork chop, slathered a layer of grain mustard on one side and kept the marinade to dribble on the pork chop as a glaze while it's being cooked in a pan. (I don't have a brush, so dribbling with a spoon had to do.) Before I cooked the chop I boiled some potatoes and diced them to make some potato salad, using some mayo, olive oil, bacon bits, pepper, paprika, and all the dill I had left that wasn't used in my Salmon Fettucine dish Thursday. The flavouring was alright, but unfortunately I didn't pay as much attention to the potatoes and some of them turned out to be undercooked. With the salad done I turned to the stove to cook the pork chop on the pan. Unfortunately the grain mustard fell apart, apparently because it was a bit thick, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as there was enough for me to coat both sides with a grain mustart semi-crust. After searing each side for a minute on medium high heat I turned the heat down to medium low and cooked each side gently while glazing them, making sure the inside was cooked as well. After I finished the pork chop I quickly sitr-fried some spinach to accompany the potato salad and pork chop.

The pork chop definitely tasted oh so good! The sweetness of the maple syrup was most evident thanks to the overnight marinating and the glaze, and the grain mustard added a nice subtle touch. The meat inside was cooked medium, cooked but slightly pink and still tender. This is something I could do again, although next time I'd cut back slightly on the grain mustard to have just enough to put a thin coating on each side.

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