Monthly Archives: March 2013

Chop chop

Evening

I decided this evening it was about time to blog some dinner, and what better to blog than some pork n stuff?  Usually I’d make this with cider, but we don’t have any open at the moment, so instead I’ve added some glugs of Apple and Fig juice.  Obviously standard apple juice or cider would do fine.

I love having excuses to use my beautiful teal casserole, but the problem with slow cooked chops is that they can end up a little on the flabby side.  The chops in question were from A Man’s dad’s pigs and as such have a really thick layer of fat on them.  To remedy the flabbiness, I snipped the rind and fried it off before cooking the meat – I think it worked OK, although you’re never going to get true crispiness when cooking this way.

Much love

Gemma xx

Pork chops in garlic and apple jus

1 pork chop per person

Butter and olive oil

1 red and 1 white onion

About half a dozen cloves of garlic (I used half ordinary and half smoked garlic)

2 eating apples

2 sticks celery

3 mushrooms

Herbs of your choice

Apple juice or cider

  1. Snip the fat on the pork chops every inch or so.  Don’t trim down to the meat!
  2. Heat the butter and oil in the pan.  Chop your onions and add them to the oil, frying gently.  Peel the garlic cloves and add them whole to the pan.
  3. Fry the rind of the chops in the pan but don’t cook the meat.  I achieved this by closing my tongs around the chops and locking them closed, so they stood up by themselves.
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    Continue to stir the onions and garlic.  When the chops have cooked for a few minutes and the rind has started to crisp up, remove them from the pan.
  4. Core the apple and chop it into chunky slices.  Finely slice the celery and mushrooms and add everything to the pan with some herbs.  Stir occasionally.
  5. After a few minutes, add a little juice or cider and allow it to reduce slightly.  At this stage I also added some of my apple and thyme jelly.
  6. Nestle the chops amongst the onions and apple and add a lid to the pan.  Place in a low oven for around 40 minutes.
  7. Check the sauce before serving and reduce on the hob slightly if necessary.  Serve with mashed potato.
Seriously, this pork was so tender it basically required no chewing.

Seriously, this pork was so tender it basically required no chewing.

Birthdays are for wine and cake and chocolate

So why not combine all three?

Hello there.  It’s been a while, I know.  Life has been…hectic since starting work.  I make no apologies – I simply don’t have the hours at home that I used to.

 

It was A Man’s birthday yesterday.  After work on Monday, I went to the supermarket to buy the ingredients to make him a birthday cake.  “No need to buy brown sugar,” thought I, “We’ve got some in the cupboard.”  Little did I know that, because of the following rule, the brown sugar was gone.

YOU HAVE TO BRING YOUR OWN BIRTHDAY CAKE INTO THE OFFICE

It would appear that, when he arrived home, A Man made his own birthday cake (a carrot cake) to take to work with him the following morning.  Cue another trip to the supermarket.  Grrr.

Anywho, this is an incredible cake recipe I have made once before.  I was searching the internet for red velvet recipes when I came across this one.  I made it as a kind of gimmick, as the person I was making it for is known for loving red wine.  As it happens, the cake was INCREDIBLE and was dubbed by my dad as the best cake he had ever eaten.  Needless to say, I just had to make it again.

I cocked up the frosting somewhat last time, and I have to confess that due to that and the aforementioned job thing, I bought a tub of ready-made cream cheese frosting.  I felt guilty for about 3 seconds and then decided there are more things in life to get het up about than whether or not I made the frosting on the cake.  It’s just one of those skills I can’t seem to get the hang of.

One tip for you: by all means sprinkle the cake liberally with finely grated chocolate.  Just remember that you’ll get chocolate dust everywhere when it comes to candle-blowing-out time…

I won’t repeat the recipe here, but here are some photos of my efforts.

Much love

Gemma xx

A Man attempts to entinguish the candles without blowing chocolate all over the dining table.

A Man attempts to entinguish the candles without blowing chocolate all over the dining table.

Masterfully slicing the cake and transferring it to a plate.

Masterfully slicing the cake and transferring it to a plate.

Got to be honest, I am obscenely pleased with this cake!

Got to be honest, I am obscenely pleased with this cake!