|Thick Pork Chops with Spiced Apples and Raisins|
A quick side: My toe is much better.
This dish is one of my first successes as a food blogger and originally appeared on my first website in the spring of 2010. At the time, I had very little culinary experience and was just following a recipe but upon further examination, this dish has more technique in it than I first realized. More on that later.
I can't find the first picture I took three years ago but it wasn't very good. I reshot the dish a couple of months later bur still wasn't satisfied. I still am not completely content with the photography, but this is the first time I was happy with the plate presentation. Over the years, I prepared this dish every few months when pork chops went on sale like they were last week.
Improve my presentation skills.
This is a Tyler Florence recipe that can be found on Food Network's website.
I substituted kosher salt for sea salt and apple juice for apple juice concentrate. Otherwise, ingredients and their quantities remain unchanged.
In summary, the pork chops are brined first, seared on the stovetop, and then roasted in the oven. While the pork is roasting, apple slices are simmered with some spices.
I remember how fragrant my kitchen was the first night I cooked this dish. The simmering apples reminded me of potpourri bouquets my mother used to have around the house when I was growing up. From a culinary standpoint, I like this dish because it is so well thought out. Pork chops have a bad reputation of being dry, so this preparation method takes steps to avoid this pitfall. This dish introduced me to the concept of a brine that I use on poultry so often. Secondly, Chef Florence uses an old restaurant trick by just searing the protein on the stovetop just to get the exterior caramelized and then cooking it through in the oven.
In other news, I hadn't commented on the Next Food Network Star recently so I thought I'd do so here. I was surprised to see Stacey leave when she did. I voted for Rodney because culinary skills can be learned but his charisma can't. I don't think Russell presents himself well, and the concept Damaris presented doesn't seem to appeal to Food Network's core audience.
I was able to find the second picture I took of the dish: