Tag Archives: heavy cream

Mustard Pork Chops


Why have I been blogging about food so much recently? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s a simple progression of facts that goes something like this:

brother-in-law John staying with us = less (read “no”) leftovers = what are we going to eat?? = must cook more = increased perusal of cookbooks and magazines = exciting meal plans = utter deliciousness = must share via blog

When John leaves us mid-August to pursue his MA, I know it will be a shock to our systems. Suddenly there will be leftovers in the fridge. I’ll start asking myself in a confused fashion, “why is there so much food lying around?” (I can see this coming because this is exactly what happened last summer after he moved out) Leftovers will start decaying before we even have time to eat them. This will lead to guilt, which will lead to less cooking, which will lead to less awesome recipes being made.


What I’m trying to say is that I enjoy cooking for more than two people. And I will miss John’s table-side enthusiasm for the things I make.

But now it’s time to stop talking about John and start talking about pork.

I love the idea of pork, but it’s so easy to cook it wrong and end up with a mouthful of dried-out blah. Another delicious recipe from Nigella Express, I love these chops. If your experience of pork is a dry, flavorless affair, this just might be the recipe that will change everything.

It’s simple to make: a little tenderizing (to get your aggression out), a little frying, and three simple ingredients for a sauce that will send you to the moon.


Also, a brother-in-law can come quite in handy for wielding the meat-smashing mallet.


And for clean-up, I recommend that you obtain a couple of willing men so that you can put your feet up afterwards and demand that bonbons be brought to you pronto.




(Serves 3-4)

4 pork chops
1 ½ TBS olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 cup hard cider
2 TBS wholegrain mustard
2/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. To make the garlic oil, put the garlic through a garlic press and immerse in the oil for about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic, and the oil is ready to go.

2. Trim the fat off the pork chops. Score a light diamond pattern on both sides with a knife and the smash them until they’re thinned out. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. When hot, add the pork chops and cook them for 5 minutes on each side. Remove them to a covered plate to keep them warm.

4. Pour the cider into the pan and let it bubble up, scraping up any brown bits.

5. Add the mustard and cream to the pan. Let the sauce cook for a couple minutes, stirring. You can consider the sauce done at this point; it will be light in color, runny, and perfectly delicious.


6. Or, you can let the sauce continue to bubble away for 8-10 minutes, stirring only occasionally, and it will thicken into a gravy-like gelatinous consistency with a stronger flavor. Also delicious!

7. Pour the sauce over the pork chops and serve.

For your reference, here’s a picture of the chops with the lighter sauce:


And here’s a picture with the darker sauce:


Oodelally it’s good. Thanks, Nigella. Or, as my sisters and I like to say in the most obnoxious, glitzed-out movie-star voice you can muster, “spanks!”

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Indian-Style Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Raisins

As I mentioned on Tuesday, this recipe came from my friend Beth, after I tried her leftovers at Bible study one night and demanded that she share immediately how to make it. She had gotten the recipe from her friend Susan, who in turn adapted it from Cook’s Illustrated “The Best Chicken Recipes.” I knew there was a genius behind it the moment I tasted it.

This curry . . . what shall I say about this curry. “Delicious” feels like an understatement when this rich, tomatoe-y sauce with the perfect bursts of golden raisins is concerned.

Please make it.

You know how addicted I am to making new recipes and trying new things, so hopefully this will mean something to you: since October, I’ve made this curry 1) for ourselves, 2) for ourselves, 3) for Heidi and Mike, 4) for our neighbor, and 5) for our friends Julie and Zane. I can’t get enough of it.


(Serves 6)

2 TBS sweet or mild curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
4 TBS vegetable oil
2 onions
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
4 cloves garlic
1 TBS minced or grated ginger
1 serrano chili
1 TBS tomato paste
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 medium)
1 cup raisins (regular and golden, mixed)
1/3 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
2 TBS chopped cilantro

There’s a lot going on in this ingredients picture–but don’t freak out! Stay calm, stay calm–if you lose your focus now, you’re going to miss out on a truly incredible dish.

In a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, toast the curry powder and garam masala for 1 minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning them.

Set the spices aside in a bowl.

Finely dice the onions. Heat the 3 TBS of the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. When hot, add the onions and 1/4 tsp of salt.

Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. If the onions seem to be browning too quickly, turn down the heat. If you have time, cook the onions for longer and on lower heat. The more they caramelize, the more sweet depth they’ll give to the curry.

In the meantime, mince the garlic and grate the ginger, and de-seed and mince the chili (removing the seeds and membrane). Or leave the seeds in if heat doesn’t scare you.

Going, going . . .


When the onions are caramelized (about like this:)

add the garlic, ginger, chili, toasted spices, and tomato paste.

Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant, then add the chicken broth . . .

. . . and crushed tomatoes too (not pictured), stirring and scraping up any brown bits.

Quickly rinse the chickpeas from that nasty liquid they have in the can with ’em, and add them along with the chicken and raisins to the pot, submerging the meat.

Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and turn down the heat to medium low.

Simmer 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is just done (160-165 in the thickest part of the chicken breast). In the meantime, chop up some good ole cilantro:

Move the chicken on to a cutting board, and using a fork and knife (it’s hot!), dice it up.

If it’s still a little raw inside, no biggie–it will finish off in the sauce momentarily.

Return the meat to the pot along with the cream or coconut milk . . .

. . . and heat through (about 2 minutes on medium high). Stir in the minced cilantro:

And we’re down to the final step! Taste, and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve over rice or spiced couscous!

I’m racking my brain to try and turn up ways of convincing everyone I know to make this. Why? Because I love you, and I want the best for your taste buds.

Anyway, hopefully the pictures will nudge you in the right direction. I can only hope.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Indian-Style Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Raisins