Pork Chops with Apricots (and more roasted broccoli)
I don’t have a good track record with cooking pork chops. Nine times out of ten they end up dry and tough. If I take them off the heat early, in the hopes of still being tender, it’s usually to find they aren’t cooked through, and have to go back in the pan. You can imagine, I’m a sucker for any recipe that promises to cook them well.
I watched a Jamie Oliver video where he pan-fried them – very quickly – and finished them with a can of peach halves, and then flambéed the whole thing with brandy, or some other spirit. I decided to try that, but with a few changes. I had tinned apricot halves, and I wasn’t going near the flambé thing. I followed his instructions (remove the skin to cook separately, fry on their edges, and then 4 mins per side). Mine were still oozing blood at that point, so I bunged them into the oven to finish off, while I made the apricot sauce. I used cider instead of brandy, and it was good. It wasn’t a sauce, more like deglazing the pan with the cider, but it had all the flavours of the cooked pork and the spices I used.
Below are the apricots cooking in their juice, and then with the chops added.
To go with this, I boiled some small, new potatoes in their skins, and tried another roast broccoli recipe. This time I sprinkled the florets with some dried chilli flakes, and then a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil when they came out of the oven. They were good, but my guys agreed the ones with the lemon & parmesan dressing were better. While the chops weren’t as tough and dry as usual, there was still plenty of room for improvement.
Talking of Jamie Oliver, here’s another meme that I loved.
After the running-out-of-milk nightmare last week, I bought extra this week and after careful googling, I froze a couple of litres. I learned that skimmed and semi-skimmed milk freezes best, and that the plastic container it comes in is fine to use. You just need to decant some from the bottle, to allow for expansion. I can report back that after thawing it for 24 hours in the fridge, it was absolutely fine. We don’t need to resort to powdered or condensed milk this week. #Result
New Zealand is under Lockdown for at least four weeks. This blog intends to avoid the bad news about rising numbers of victims. It focuses instead on food, and the challenges of cooking fresh meals every day – with the ingredients from my larder. A much nicer message 😊