Friday, October 24, 2008

Those thieving Red Hat Ladies
--Whiskey-Glazed Pork Chops

Whiskey-Glazed Pork Chops
The Red Hat Society Cookbook Copyright 2006

1/2 cup sour mash or bourbon whiskey
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
4 bone-in center-cut pork chops, about 1 inch thick I used boneless chops
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Whisk the whiskey or bourbon, cider, brown sugar, mustard, cayenne, vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of the vinegar together in a medium bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup of the whiskey mixture to a gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag, add the pork chops, press the air out of the bag, and seal. Turn the bag to coat the chops with the marinade and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Reserve the remaining whiskey mixture.

2. Remove the chops from the bag, pat dry with paper towels, and discard the marinade. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until just beginning to smoke. Season the chops with salt and pepper and cook until well browned on both sides and a peek into the thickest part of a chop using a paring knife reveals still-pink meat 1/4 inch from the surface, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate and cover tightly with foil.

3. Add the reserved whiskey mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until reduced to a thick glaze, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and, holding on to the chops, tip the plate to add any accumulated juices back to the skillet. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, whisk in the butter, and simmer the glaze until thick and sticky, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

4. Return the chops to the skillet and let rest in the pan until the sauce clings to the chops, turning them occasionally to coat both sides, and a peek into the thickest part of the pork chop using a pairing knife shows completely cooked meat (145ºF on an instant-read thermometer), about 5 minutes. Transfer the chops to a platter and spoon the sauce over the meat. Serve.

This picture doesn't do these pork chops justice. The glaze was thicker than it looks here, although it did take a bit more time to get there than the recipe called for. These were delicious. That hint of vanilla was a great touch that I certainly would never have thought of on my own. Like many glazes, I was dubious until the very end. Until the glaze was reduced with the pan juices and butter, I was thinking these might just be edible but I was happily surprised that they were a bona fide hit as far as I'm concerned (and no one else was complaining either!)

As usual, before sitting out to type the recipe, I did a Google search to see if someone else out there had already done the typing for me. Someone had, of course. That little exercise saves me time but it also lets me know how completely unoriginal I am when I find that the recipe is everywhere!

Turns out this recipe, just about word for word as far as I can see, is from one of the ATK cookbooks. I know how rabid they are about bloggers copying their recipes so I wonder if they've gone after the Red Hat Ladies? I don't actually have the ATK cookbook this is from so as far as I know, this is a Red Hat Ladies recipe.

This is a good example of why I feel right about printing recipes out of cookbooks and giving them credit. Changing a few words and/or leaving out the source entirely may remove any copyright questions but I feel that if the recipes are going to get out there anyway (which they are), why not give the cookbook the credit? Truly, in most cases the recipes that I make are not original to one cookbook so how could I feel bad at all about posting those generic recipes, especially when I'm not making any money off of them?

Time for the weekly recap.

Monday we had burgers and fries. I picked up some all-natural 1/3 pound burgers on a buy one get one free. They weren't bad for a frozen burger and at $2.50/pound for all-natural, hormone-free and antibiotic-free beef that I just had to throw on the grill, not a bad deal.

Tuesday we had a rerun, Bourbon Chicken (inspired by Jamie who made another version of Bourbon Chicken recently).

I used some dark and some white meat. I hate working with boneless chicken thighs - too much 'stuff' on them. But, I think the flavor of the dark meat is superior to white meat in this recipe. I doubled the sauce this time.

Wednesday we had that fantastic Ravioli Lasagna.

Last night we had these pork chops with some green beans and a packaged broccoli-cheddar rice. We almost never eat those packaged sides but I was stumped for a side and ran out at lunch and grabbed the rice mix. I only have a drugstore to shop in near work so my options were limited but that sounded better than the choices I had at home (plain noodles, plain rice or plain potatoes).

Tonight is pizza night. Turkey pepperoni is the current topping of favor. I'm still using that same pizza dough recipe.

Also this week, I pulled out one of the Pineapple Banana Breads that I stuck in the freezer a few weeks ago and brought it to work and the guys scarfed it down faster than just about anything else I've brought in.

Funny, I didn't bring it in when I made it because I wasn't sure that it would be their kind of thing. It tasted even better to me than I remembered. It was very moist. I still have one more loaf in the freezer.

Question of the Day: Is whiskey a staple in your house? I forgot to pick some up last Saturday and I was surprised to find that I had some, since my husband will usually quickly use up any we have left over from parties, for 'medicinal purposes' (he goes running for whiskey and honey whenever he gets a scratchy throat).


Anonymous said...

No, it's not. I have occasionally bought bourbon to make the fruit cake cookies at Christmas. I get the smallest bottle they sell and imagine the salesperson thinks I'm a drunk, just needing to get by. Ah, well.


Unknown said...

As a rule, we don't keep any alcohol in the house. We have several recovering alcoholics in the family, so we do that out of respect and support for them. Now if a recipe called for something, I'd probably buy a small bottle.

I've wondered about copyright infringement when posting recipes. I always try to link and give proper credit. Glad someone feels the same about that too.

ThursdayNext said...

Not really...I mean its in my cocktail cabinet...rum is more the staple!

Anonymous said...

Not a whiskey fan (neither is my husband) but I do keep some around just in case I need it in a recipe.

This pork chop recipe (no matter where it came from) sounds really good!