Wednesday, March 21, 2007

So Much Relish, So Little Meat

After three dinners there is still a cup of plum & balsamic onion relish left. My sister cooks like my Mum, in excess. My friends hate the way I cook, which is just enough. There are never any leftovers. I know that is somewhat unorthodox being Asian and all. One must always have more and not less. Hence, 9-course Chinese dinners and chicken rice like we're setting up stall. Growing up in my family, I have a fear of leftovers. I am overcome by guilt if I don't eat it. At the same time, I know I'll never be able to catch up with the way my Mum cooks. I will only die trying.

On Monday, I roasted a duck. Four people ate it with half a cup of relish. Last night, I cooked pork chops for three people and we used under half a cup of relish. I'm going to throw the damn relish away because I can't bear eating it anymore! Anyway, I've never cooked pork chops before because... Hmm, I don't know why. Perhaps I'm not sure how one should handle pork chops. They always seem to be on the tough and dry side. And this is the moment Kylie Kwong saves the day again. Flicking through her book, I came across a recipe for pork cutlets. Borrowing the cooking method, I made a simple recipe to go with the bottomless relish:

  • 4 pork chops, about 200g each
  • sprig of rosemary, chopped
  • a hint of me ie. paprika (hahahaha...er)
  • teaspoon of sea salt
  • olive oil
1) Lovingly pound the pork chops with your fist. I figured I needed a quick workout and it probably wouldn't hurt to beat them up a bit. Add the rosemary, oil, paprika and salt, and massage tenderly into the meat. I marinated them for several hours.

2) Preheat oven to 200C. Heat oil in a pan and fry the pork for about 1.5 mins on each side. Remove, place in tray and pop them into the oven for no more than 15 minutes. Let the meat rest before devouring. If I didn't have the relish, I guess I would've made a red wine reduction with the jus. There was plenty of it in the pan.

So that was it. It was moist and had the subtle aroma of rosemary and sea salt. It tasted great with apple sauce I had made earlier in the afternoon. Mum had bought some seriously nasty giant Washington apples. Lovely aroma but texture is like soft, wet sand. Yucks. The relish added a nice tangy bite with the soft apples. Earlier in the afternoon I knew the pork wasn't going to be enough. They were smaller than expected, and my brother had invited himself over. Luckily I had some salad and Danish blue cheese in the fridge. The cheese doesn't really go with the pork but it was nice anyway. It was very mild compared to a roquefort or gorgonzola. I finally got to use my balsamic vinegar I bought from Fratelli's in Sydney. The salesperson was really helpful as I was about to make the mistake of purchasing the "best" one ie. the most expensive of that particular brand. She let me sample all the different brand of vinegars and explained the different tastes. Turns out, I like one of the cheaper ones after all! Aged for 8 years will do me fine thank you.

5 comments:

  1. Hey I must try your recipe. I have a jar of applesauce that's been sitting, unopened, on my kitchen counter for over a year. Time to use it. :-)

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  2. I have to say that this was a really fantastic meal and I pity all the people who were not able to enjoy it! It was super nice.

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  3. You don't cook just enough. You just don't cook enough.

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  4. Just remember its a very subtle taste so if you like strong flavours, this is not it. Have fun Lemongrass!

    True true but you know I like to cook in my own space. When I move lah, I will have more parties. Woohooooo!

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  5. Popping by(blog-hopped) from lyrical lemongrass. Another site I can "eat".
    The pork chop looks good, and it's a simple recipe :)
    But I do not have paprika (a.k.a "you"), in my pantry :O

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