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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Category Archives: Pork

Braised Rib Pork Chop
RECIPEServes 2

A CookTale

Last evening, Davis conquered Goliath! Traditionally I’ve grilled Pork Chops and more often than not they have been tough.
This time I decided to try and oven braise
them in a simple flavored liquid…and it worked! After 25 minutes in a 300 oven, they were tender and flavorful. At plating I spooned each with a Demi Glace sauce.
That will be my new traditional method.


2 1″ rib Pork Chops.
Salt & Pepper liberally sprinkled
1 c of Vermouth
1/4 c of EVOO

For the sauce
1 c of Chicken Stock
2 oz of Demi Glace Gold
2 TB of Butter


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
2. Liberally season the chops. Add them to a casserole dish. Add the EVOO and Vermouth mixture half way up the dish.
3. Braise for 25 minutes or until medium rare.
4. For the sauce, In a small saucepan add the Chicken Stock, Demi Glace and Butter. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes to emulsify.


RECIPE Alsatian Chou
Casserole of Cabbage, Sausage, Apples & Cream
Adapted from Simone BeckServes 4-6

A CookTaleBefore Cathie threw up her hands and walked away from the kitchen, (I was that perennial pain in the ass that continued to add things to her pot). She rightfully prided herself as a self taught Julia Child’s cook, and a very good one. One of her many signature dishes is this delicious Chou, adapted from a classic cookbook by Simon Beck. Actually I’m the one who should walk away from the kitchen! Much too high strung for that to happen.


1 medium-sized Cabbage
Salt & Pepper
3 tsp Cumin
3/4 C chopped Onions
4 TB Vegetable Oil, or any Oil
1 lb fresh Country Sausage
1/2 lb boiled Ham
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 lb Apples
1 TB Oil
1-1/4 C Heavy Cream


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Quarter the Cabbage, discarding any tough or wilted Leaves. Plunge into boiling water. When water returns to a boil, as 1 TB of salt. Boil Cabbage about 10 minutes uncovered. Refresh it in a colander under cold running water. When cool, separate the Leaves and spread them out on paper towels and blot dry.
When they are thoroughly dry, sprinkle them with a little Salt & Pepper and about 2 tsp of Cumin. Set aside.

3. Saute chopped Onions gently in the Oil for about 5 minutes. Season with Salt & Pepper and cook until the Onions are soft and slightly brown. Set aside in a large bowl.

4. In the same skillet, brown the sausage meat and drain on absorbent paper. Cut the boiled Ham into tiny pieces. Stir the Sausage and the boiled Ham into the Onions. Beat the Eggs with the remaining Cumin, Allspice and Paprika, and add to the Meat mixture. Set aside.

5. Peel & core the Apples and cut into 1/4” dice. Rub a casserole with 1 TB Oil. Line the bottom and sides with a layer of Cabbage Leaves and spoon in a little Heavy Cream. Then put a layer each of Apples, Cabbage Leaves, half the meat mixture, spooning some Cream between each layer. Finish the casserole the same way, filling it to the top, and finishing with a layer of Apples and a layer of Cabbage Leaves.

6. Cover the casserole and bake in the preheated oven for 1/2 hour. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and finish cooking for 1-1/4 hours. The mixture will be very smooth and tender.

7. Plate as a one dish dinner.


Serves 2

A CookTale

This post is a hearty thank you to Carol Clement of Heather Ridge Farm in Preston Hollow, NY and her extraordinary herd of well-cared-for livestock. For last evening’s dinner I didn’t need to do more to their double Pork Rib Chops other than Salt, Pepper and dash of Aleppo Pepper to bring them to perfection. I grill-pan cooked them in EVOO, and I don’t know wh

ere to begin raving about the result. Every tender, juicy bite proved once again that size matters, The double thickness permitted deep searing, without drying, and a short stint in a 425 F oven was all they required to bring them to perfection. They were on the rare side, but not raw, fork tender, and with every bite I dreaded that inevitable empty plate. Carol, it was a 10.

INGREDIENTS For the Pork Chops

2 Double Thick Pork Chops (contact the farm: 518-239-6234) 
Coarse Salt & Black Pepper
1 tsp of Aleppo, Red Pepper Flakes or Cayenne 
1 TB of EVOO + more as needed


1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Season the Pork Chops. Heat a cast-iron grill pan & add them. Deeply sear each side for 3 minutes, (I weighed them down with a 5 pound grill press).

3. Allow them to rest off the heat, in the pan, for at least 10 minutes. 

4. Move the pan to the hot oven for another 8 to 10 minutes. A safer way is to use an instant thermometer. When it registers 130 degrees, it’s ready to rest for 5 minutes before plating.

RECIPE For the Squash and Onions


3 small Yellow Squash
1 medium-large Sweet Onion
2 TB Butter
2 tsp Celery Salt
2 TB minced Sage

1. Slice the Squash into 3/4” rounds. Cut the Onion into large chunks.

2. Melt Butter in medium-sized saucepan. Add Onions, stir well, cover & cook over low heat for 10 minutes until Onions are still a little crisp.

3. Add the Squash, Celery Salt & Pepper. Mix well, cover & cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the Sage, stir well & cook until Squash is done, about 5 minutes more.



Serves 4

A CookTale
NOTE: Back on 11/11/11, I posted a similar recipe prepared with Baby Spare Ribs.

By the time dinner was finished, I could have used a rickshaw to wheel me into bed. It wasn’t overeating it was overcooking. There are very few cuisines of the world that demand as many ingredients. Example: The marinade for the Ribs required 11 ingredients. And that’s only for the preliminary preparation. When it was all said and done, a drive to the Chinese restaurant would have been less exhausting. But I enjoy cooking so it can’t compete with the alternative.



2 lb of Pork Country Style Ribs
1/2 C of Hoisin Sauce
1/2 C of Brandy (or rum or bourbon)
1/4 C of Honey
1/3 C of Soy Sauce
2 TB of Sesame Oil
2 TB of Hot Sauce (such as Tabasco)
2 TB of powdered Ginger
1 TB of Garlic smashed (or garlic powder)
1 TB of Five Spice Powder
2 TB of powdered Onion
1/4 C of Char Siu Sauce for the Glaze


1. Mix the Marinade ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.

2. Coat the Ribs & Marinate in a Ziplock-type bag for at least 3 hours. Marinate them overnight for a much superior result .

3. Heat the oven to 300°F. Roast the Ribs for no more than 35 minutes. Remove from the oven & paint one side with a coat of the Char Siu Sauce. Return to the oven for 6 or 8 minutes glazed side up.

4. Remove & allow Ribs to rest for 5 minutes. If the butcher hasn’t, (he will upon request), cut the Ribs into individual pieces & prepare to serve.


Serves 2

A CookTale

Whether this is on the menu occasionally or more often, it’s a very satisfying and filling meal. And whether the dish has only Red Peppers or a combination of Red, Yellow and Green, the plate is a visual delight. Another major culinary contribution from our friends in Italy. And there’s always a small plate of leftovers for a delicious luncheon sandwich.

1-1/2 lbs of Sweet Italian Sausage, pricked all over with a fork
3 TB of EVOO
2 Red Bell Peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 small Fennel bulb—trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
2 Serrano or Jalapeno Chiles, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
3/4 cup of dry Red Wine
1 C freshly grated Pecorino Cheese (3 ounces)


1. Light an outdoor grill or a large cast-iron grill pan. Brush the Sausages lightly with oil & grill over a medium-hot fire, turning, until nicely charred & just cooked through, about 15 minutes total. Set aside.

2. Add the 3 TB of EVOO. Add the Peppers, Onion, Fennel & Chiles & cook, stirring occasionally, until the Vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. Season with Salt. Add the Sausages & Wine to the skillet and simmer until the Wine has reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from the grill & sprinkle half of the Pecorino Cheese over the Sausage & Peppers. Serve, passing the remaining Pecorino at the table


Serves 2

A CookTale

The star of this posting is the Zucchini. That is not to imply that the Heather Ridge Pork Chops weren’t equally fine, as they always are. But fussing with the Zucchini and adapting it into the classic Italian Spaghetti all’Olio e Aglio really worked without being concerned with carbs and calories. The must-have appliance is the mandoline; after that the preparation and pan cooking is comparable to the pasta version.

INGREDIENTS For the Zucchini

2 Medium Zucchini, Yellow & Green
1/2 cup of EVOO
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled & sliced
1 tsp of Red Pepper Flakes, plus more if desired
1/4 C chopped Italian flat-leaf Parsley
1 TB of chopped fresh Basil leaves
1 TB of fresh Sage leaves, deep fried (optional but desired)


1. Using a Mandoline with the thinnest julienne blade, turn both Zucchini into strings of spaghetti. Add to a large bowl. Toss together.

2. In a large saute pan, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Add the Garlic & saute until light brown & fragrant. It’s important not to burn the Garlic or else it will become bitter. Add the Red Pepper Flakes & saute for 1 minute.

3. Carefully add the Zucchini strings & stir to combine. Saute for about 4 minutes to soften & heat through.

4. Remove the pan from heat & top with the fried Sage leaves. (optional but desired)

INGREDIENTS For the Pork Chops

2 Pork Chops (1″ thick)
Kosher Salt & Pepper
2 TB of EVOO


1. Season the Chops & rub on the EVOO. Set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Heat a grill pan to high. Add the Chops & grill no more than 1-1/2 minutes a side.

3. Remove & allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.


Serves 2

A CookTale

Our kitchen is notorious for wasting perfectly good Mozzarella by ignoring it until it becomes inedible. We see it, buy it and then forget it’s in the fridge. Are we alone, or this a common blunder? So last evening with a newly purchased ball, we planned our meal around it and made sure we enjoyed each and every mouthful. What better way to have dinner on one of the warmest evenings so far this Summer?


Mozzarella Cheese sliced 1/8″ thick
4 Sweet or Hot Italian Sausages
Marinara Sauce (homemade or Rao’s)


1. With a sharp instrument such as an ice pick, puncture each of the Sausages.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

3. Ina small sauce pan heat the Marinara sauce.

4. In a skillet, cook the Sausages halfway through, using an internal thermometer to check the temperature. Be sure at this stage not to overcook .

4. Spoon a layer of the sauce in an oven proof casserole. Add the half cooked Sausages. Top with slices of Mozzarella cheese.

5. Oven roast until the cheese melts & the Sausages have been fully cooked. Once again check the internal temperature. Sausages should be quite well cooked, unless they were homemade.

6. Remove from the hot oven & keep warm. A 200 degree oven will hold them for ten minutes or so.