Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Pork chops and apple

Have you ever been really upset by something you have been watching on TV? We have been watching Breaking Bad (I know, I'm very late with it, but as it was such a phenomenon, now that I finally broke down and got us Netflix I thought I would check it out). And it has upset me to no end. I used to have quite a high tolerance of TV violence and cruelty. I don't know if it's just me getting older, or if it's because I didn't have a TV for many years and I wasn't exposed to any of it, but I find I get very upset by the violence these days. I keep bursting out in tears mid-show, and having terrible nightmares. I'm happy we only have one episode of the show to go, as it upsets me so badly. From now on I have decided to avoid TV as much as possible, apart from a few very gentle shows like Downton Abbey, Great British Bakeoff and such. I just think there is plenty of cruelty and violence in the world without having to expose myself to made up violence also. I'm just rather surprised at how strongly I have been reacting to it all. But it just seems so incredibly over-indulgent. 

Anyhow, amongst all of my emotional turmoil over made-up stories, it's nice that I have been treated to delicious food. Today's recipe is another Culinary Consultant original. Seems like it's mostly his cooking keeping this blog alive these days. I do cook a little bit, but he has been in charge of most of the everyday cooking. I mostly prepare salads for work lunch. They consist of pretty much the same thing every day - lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and sweet peppers along with either chicken or eggs, and maybe some avocado if I'm really treating myself. That doesn't much of a blog post make. So luckily the Culinary Consultant has a newfound interest in creating new and exciting dishes so I can mostly focus on baking to keep feeding my carboholicism.

Pork chops with apple (serves 6):
6 pork chops
100 g (1/2 jar) sundried tomato paste
2 large cloves of garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Henderson's Relish (or replace with Worcestershire sauce)
1/2 large cooking apple

The Howto:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Finely chop garlic and mix with tomato paste. Place pork chops in an oven proof dish. Spread the tomato and garlic paste onto the pork chops. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle balsamic vinegar, relish and oil over the chops. Decoratively place sliced apple onto the chops (this is a direct quote from the Culinary Consultant). Cook in 180 degrees C for about 45-50 minutes until the pork chops are cooked through. 

The Verdict:
This was another Culinary Consultant success story. The combination of sundried tomatoes and the sweetness from the cooked, mushy apple go perfectly with the pork. If you caught the Culinary Consultant's Pork and Chorizo stew earlier, you know I'm not a huge fan of pork. However, as we have been trying to be sensible about our grocery shopping and grab onto a good deal when we find one, we have bought a pack of pork here and there. And just like the stew, I found this so delicious I didn't mind the fact that it was pork at all. It's so great when someone else is cooking, they come up with different flavour combinations than what you would use yourself, and food cooked by someone else always tastes better than if you cooked it yourself. Ok, that is not always true, but it is in this case.

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