Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dinner With The Hawthornes.

While I've been concentrating on cranking out baskets of Christmas goodies, Mr. Hawthorne has stepped up to the plate, providing grand meals for us. I wanted a solid meal for dinner and Mr. Hawthorne complied. Center cut pork chops, peas and carrots, freshly-made applesauce. With a lovely mustard/cream/wine/sorrel/caper sauce to go over the pork.
Such festivity. Mr. Hawthorne trimmed the pork of excess fat.
Trimmed chops.
Mr. Hawthorne wanted to get out his aggressions on a pork chop.
You go, boy.
Two pounded chops. One left whole.
I saved some of the fat, cooked it up, and fed it to the Hawthorne Puppies.
The Hawthorne Puppies love the smells in Nana's kitchen.
Merry Christmas!
Mr. Hawthorne cooked down apple slices, a little sugar, and some water. If you'd like to add cinnamon or nutmeg, you have my permission.
A little sourwood honey from the Blue Ridge Mountains never hurts.
Mr. Hawthorne heated his skillet, added a tablespoon each of butter and oil, and lightly battered the chops. Egg bath first, then dredge through seasoned flour. Into the hot skillet, about 2 minutes each side. Please don't burn your pork. You want it slightly pink and juicy inside, not gray or white and dry as a bone.
Set aside.
Onto the sauce:
First, Mr. Hawthorne fried up some bacon bits.
Add a little butter for flavor.
Have on hand: chopped onion coarse Dijon mustard heavy cream white wine
Mr. Hawthorne stirred in about a tablespoon of the coarse-grained mustard.
Add about 2 tablespoons white wine.
Juice of 1/2 lemon.
Stir to combine.
Half cup of heavy cream, more or less.
A tablespoon of capers.
Taste test. Freshly ground salt and pepper.
Mr.Hawthorne needed more sauce for the chops so he added in more cream and ...
... more wine.
Mr. Hawthorne stirred in about 2 TB instant-blend flour to thicken up his sauce.
I picked some lemon grass and sorrel leaves to add to the sauce.
To prepare lemon grass, use the pale, bottom part of the stalk. Pound it, then chop it and add to your dish. Chop the sorrel and add. I know not many people have sorrel and lemongrass growing in a pot on your deck so this step is optional. If you want more lemon flavor, then add lemon zest.
Pour sauce over chops and serve.
Plating is important. Always remember to clean the plate. Wipe spills. I've seen Anne Burrell take a towel dipped in vinegar to clean her plates.

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