HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops with Carrot Orzo



        Today, I wanted to share a very easily prepared Pork Chop main course that pairs beautifully with a side that’s appeared here before. Rather than just give you the link, I’ll include the whole recipe on this page to make it easier for you. 
Frenched Pork Chops from Trader Joe's
        The Pork Chops are from Saveur’s April 2010 issue which featured the food of Rome.  I lived in Rome eons ago but I have no memory of eating a single pork chop. This may have a lot to do with my student budget at the time which very often curtailed my eating anything beyond pasta and a “contorno”, the side dishes of vegetables and irresistible antipasti. We never actually got near the “Primi Piatti” where the meat courses were listed.  Since I have an enduring love of all things Pork, that seems like the most logical explanation.   My recent discovery of the beautifully Frenched Park Chops at Trader Joe’s were a call to action for this recipe.  “Frenching” just means cleaning the bone of gristle and leaving it as a kind of handle on the chop.  This of course will allow you to pick it up by the handle and savor every delicious morsel of meat clinging to the bone.  The “sweet” in the recipe comes from Honey, the “sour” comes from Balsamic Vinegar.  It very easy to accomplish in very little time and it’s very delicious.
        As a side dish, this Orzo dish is hard to beat.  It really is comparable to a risotto in many ways but far easier to deal with as it doesn’t require your constant presence at the stove.  There’s a certain sweetness to the carrots and a creaminess to the Orzo that makes this dish a wonderful counterpoint to the Sweet and Sour glaze on the pork chops.  Try it with some quickly sautéed spinach and you’ll have a wonderful dinner.  Here are the recipes:
Recipe for “Maiale in Agrodolce” or Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops from Saveur Magazine:
4 10-ounce Frenched Pork Chops

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1  sprig fresh rosemary, torn into 1" pieces 


1. Put pork chops on a plate; drizzle with oil; season generously with salt and pepper; let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Combine vinegar and honey in a 1-qt. saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup. Stir in butter and rosemary and set aside.

3. Put pork chops on grill and cook, occasionally turning and basting with balsamic mixture, until browned and cooked through, 12–14 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe for Carrot Orzo

6 ounces peeled baby carrots (about 1 

1/4 cups; from 16-ounce package)

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 8 ounces)

1 ½ cups water

1 ¼ cups low-salt chicken broth

1 large garlic clove, minced

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

Place carrots in processor. Using on/off turns, finely chop carrots. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo and carrots; sauté until orzo is golden, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, broth, and garlic; cook uncovered over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Stir in cheese, green onions, and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.  Serves 4.




 


Monday, March 28, 2011

Pino Luongo’s Spaghetti with Sausage alla Carbonara via Florence Fabricant



There was a time when Pino Luongo was at the top of the food chain in New York’s restaurant world.   He arrived here from his native Italy in 1981.  And after a brief stint working for other people, he opened Il Cantinori (Tel: 212 673 6044) 32 East 10th St, New York NY 10003) in Greenwich Village.  He was basically responsible for introducing New Yorkers to Northern Italian cooking, specifically that of his native Tuscany.  And it took hold to such an extent, it looked for a time as if Red Sauce Italian cooking, the staple of Italian American Restaurants, was done for. 
Pino Luongo
I remember his Le Madre, long gone from 7th Avenue in Chelsea. It was staffed entirely by Italian women. Le Madre means The Mothers in Italian.  Whether they all were Mothers is questionable but the women brought homespun Italian home cooking to the table.  And it was wildly popular.  In working on this post, I read that over the years Pino has opened 16 restaurants.  But now, he is down to running one: Centolire (TEL: 212-734-7711) at 1167  Madison Avenue between 85th & 86th Streets. (I have a sneaking suspicion I know why: Years ago, I had a truly wretched experience at his Hamptons outpost for which we received neither an apology nor any acknowledgment. 
Nevertheless, when I saw a recipe that Florence Fabricant had adapted from a meal she’d had at Centolire, it looked intriguing enough to try. It combines the classic Carbonara replacing pancetta with enough sausage to make the dish hearty, and cheese and eggs to make it satisfyingly rich.   True to Mr. Luogo’s long-standing affinity for an Italian Grandmother’s unwritten recipes, Ms. Fabricant said she felt ‘at ease adjusting…to my taste.”  I, however, left her recipe intact. 
Recipe for Spaghetti with Sausage alla Carbonara, courtesy of Florence Fabricant.
Time: 45 minutes
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 1/2teaspoons pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt 1 pound spaghetti
3 large eggs
1/4 cup pecorino Romano.


1. Remove casings from sausage. Using a knife, a fork or your hands on a cutting board, break meat into small pieces. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Add onion and cook on medium-low just until translucent.



2. Add sausage, mashing and breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it is uniformly crumbly and has lost its pinkness. Stir in the pepper and bay leaves. Add wine and cook until it has nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and discard bay leaves. Season meat to taste with salt.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until al dente, 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large serving bowl with hot water or warm it in a low oven. Lightly beat the eggs in a small dish. Just before pasta is done, return pan with sausage to low heat. When pasta is done, slowly beat about a tablespoon of pasta water into eggs. Then drain the pasta.
4. Transfer sausage to warm serving bowl. Pour spaghetti on top and toss it with the sausage, slowly adding the beaten eggs. Add salt to taste and fold in the pecorino.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.