Thursday, October 2, 2014

Korean Pork Chops

A fairly simple dish with big flavor.


1 pound pork chops
1 ounce soy sauce (I typically use low sodium)
1 ounce rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon dried chives

1. Place pork chops in large ziplock bag or bowl with sealing lid.
2. Mix all marinade ingredients together in small bowl.
3. Pour marinade over pork chops.
4. Allow pork chops to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
5. Cook pork chops on barbecue or in a hot pan, 2-6 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

Sprinkle with coarsely ground dried garlic for maximum WOW factor!



Today I got to spend quality time in the kitchen.  Truly my favorite kind of day.

This week has brought fun with garlic!  My mother (thanks, Mom!) brought me some elephant garlic on her recent visit.  While it's true, I do love garlic, I usually use the pre-minced jarred stuff in my fridge, rather than bothering with peeling and mincing or crushing or slicing.  Since I've had these humongous beautiful bulbs, however, I've been inspired to think beyond simply adding minced garlic to my dishes.

Last night, I tried pan frying garlic slices in olive oil til they were crispy.  I was thinking they would turn out truly wonderful like fried shallots.  I was SO WRONG!  They were horrible!!!  The garlic remained very bitter after cooking in the olive oil (surprise to me), and I frankly could not get the taste off of my tongue fast enough!

Not at all discouraged, today I tried something different.  I first roasted the beautiful elephant globes in the oven, drizzled with olive oil and wrapped in foil, for about an hour and a half at 350F degrees.  Then, I thinly sliced the cloves and laid the slices out on parchment paper.  I baked the slices at about 300F for 10-20 minutes, until firm and dried.  I checked them frequently and removed slices as they were fully dried.  Admittedly, I still have a few thick slices lingering in my warm oven (turned off) until they finally dry through.

So you may be wondering what I then did with my dried, roasted garlic.  I took a little nibble, and although not offensive, I decided these little crispy slices were still too intense for just munching.  This is where I realized that these morsels of garlic goodness would be AMAZING sprinkled over tonight's Korean pork chops.  So, out came the Ninja blender, and in two seconds flat I had coarsely chopped garlic powder.  My family was HAPPY!  They could not get enough of the little crunchy garlic goodness on top of their pork chops!  Success!!!

In addition to all of the roasting and drying, I thought "my refrigerator is begging for a garlic butter".  So, I took a stick of softened butter, smashed three of the roasted elephant garlic cloves, and mixed the two ingredients thoroughly.  That's it.  So simple, so beautiful, so tasty!  This butter is delightful on a cracker, or bread, or even one of my favorite munchies, crispy cheese.

I have three elephant globes left.  One of the most traditional uses for this garlic is to roast until soft and then serve as a spread for bread.  Since my family doesn't eat much bread, I'll be combing the internet for further inspiration.  I'll be sure to share whatever I find, success or fail.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hi There!

As with anyone who has ever started a blog, I find myself asking “what should my first post be about?”  While taking stock of all of the things that fill my time, the activities that bring me the most pleasure are related to food.  In some ways, I’m addicted to food.  I love to buy it, chop it, prepare it, and serve it.

It is impossible for me to run to the store for just one thing.  Truly impossible.  The moment I walk through the doors, my head is filled with ideas and recipes and questions like “maybe they have pumpkins on sale”, “I wonder if there are any bargains in the butcher department”, or “how much cream cheese do we have at home?”  By the way, cream cheese is an absolute staple in my refrigerator.  So, my one item trip quickly becomes another shopping adventure.

So here I am, another blogging foodie.  Sort of.  I really feel more like a budget conscious, health conscious, wife, mother, and woman who has some tricks up her sleeve to share; especially when we’re on the topic of food.

Where to start?
First, some of my philosophies and preferences...  I tend to prepare whole food, but by no means do I strictly adhere to any specific principles.  In general, I limit the amount of processed food and refined carbohydrates in my family’s diet, simply because my kids get plenty of that stuff outside of the home, and I personally don’t miss it in my life.  Also, I’m very focused on filling our bellies with meaningful proteins, because proteins and fats have far more staying power when it comes to hunger.  Finally, although I am fairly lean and fit, diabetes runs in my family, so I do what I can to prepare diabetic friendly meals as a means of prevention.

Oh and one final thought, I tend to use whole fat products in my food.  Although a person could substitute low fat alternatives, I’m not sure why you’d want to.  By using whole fat ingredients, your dishes will come out more satisfying and filling, rather than leaving you wanting to graze in an hour or two.

On this blog I’ll share some of my favorite recipes, dinner menus, and whatever other fun stuff I come up with each week.

So, the big question...  What’s for dinner?  This week I'm planning:

Monday:  Scalloped cod over steamed broccoli
Tuesday:  Korean BBQ pork chops with edamame and green salad
Wednesday:  Tacos!
Thursday:  Broiled salmon with Greek salad
Friday:  Kielbasa with Not so Sour kraut and cooked apples