Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pork and Pineapple

The Purple Pot
I recently purchased a new pot for my collection of cast iron. This one is enamel lined and purple. I have another enamel lined cast iron pot that's bright green; a sassy French one to be exact. The new purple pot is much larger, six quarts, which was my main reason for seeking it out. The size of this pot will allow plenty of room for chicken frying or gumbo for a crowd. So needless to say I couldn't wait to wash it, dry it and begin cooking. I just never expected to buy a purple one, however. Now I need a gold one...Geaux Tigers! 

I think I've used it every day since I brought it home. Here we go with a recipe I invented from ingredients I had on hand. Sans the Pork Chops. I had to stop off at Mac's for those. Two thick cut beauty's I might add. Although I know there's nothing new under the sun, a recipe that I invent is new to me. Happy ingredients in a pretty pot is a beautiful thing. My spur-of-the-moment idea was well received by The Horn Player and me and, yes, I will make it again. 

Note: You could use pork tenderloin sliced across the grain and flattened. A pork tenderloin paillard so to speak. And I think I will do just that the next time I make it. And you could use canned or frozen pineapple, but I personally think fresh pineapple is one of the most delicious fruits there is, so I will use fresh again on my next effort. One more thing; I served this with Fried Rice which was a perfect side for the sweet/savory main dish. I'll post my recipe for that later.
Pork Chops in Pineapple Sauce

2 thick center cut pork chops
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1-1/2 heaping tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 jar Cocktail sauce
1-1/2 cups fresh pineapple, largely diced
Black pepper
Green onions, sliced

Rinse the pork chops under cold water and pat completely dry. Sprinkle very lightly with salt and black pepper; set aside. Splash the olive oil into the pot and bring up to heat. Add the pork chops and brown on both sides. Do not cook completely. Remove the chops and add the chopped onion. Cook on medium/high heat until the onion is soft, about 5 or so minutes. Toss in the garlic, ginger and fresh pineapple and stir well until heated through. Add the jar of Cocktail sauce and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove the sticky bits that give so much color and flavor. I'm very fond of fond.  Nestle the pork chops back into the pan allowing the sauce to cover the meat for better cooking and to capture the essence of the delicious sauce.

Taste for salt balance and adjust as you like. Cook on low heat until the chops are done. At the last, sprinkle over sliced green onion's. Serve each pork chop with a generous ladle of the pineapple sauce and plenty of the pineapple bits. Add more green onion for garnish.

Isn't it gorgeous!

I love using a sheet of wax paper to prep messy foods. All you need to do when your task is complete is crumple it up and toss it away. So here's a chunky little Pork Chop on a sheet of wax paper ready to be salted and peppered.
My salt cellar is an antique butter dish from Ma and the black pepper is in a shell from Ship Island given to me by The Horn Player's mom

Lightly seasoned with Kosher salt and black pepper

In the Purple Pot getting brown
Flavorful fond in the bottom of the pot with onion and garlic
I ♥ my Microplane ~ Perfect for mincing fresh ginger
Fresh pineapple and spicy ginger sweetening the pot
It's saucy now with the addition of the Cocktail sauce
Ready to slice, serve and yum!

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