Monday, March 2, 2009

Liquor Store Recipes *hic!*

Our province's liquor store, er- monopoly? (the LCBO) has a seasonal glossy magazine called Food & Drink. It is very popular and it's hard to get a copy if you don't frequent the liquor store (so SOMETIMES I miss it- since you have to go home sometime, eh? ;)). Anyway, this weekend I tried a couple from the Winter 2009 issue. Unfortunately, they aren't online yet, though you can check out some of their OTHER recipes here. The ones I tried are below.

We all liked the Cider-Braised Ontario Pork Chops with Apples and Garlic. I really loved the apples with the chops. I was the only one who really did- or who actually tried the apples with the pork. My family isn't big on sauces and extras. No one wanted to try pressing out the garlic (except me!) either. I grew up loving apple sauce with pork chops, so I'm always a little disappointed when my kids won't give it a try! (The garlic non-love, I can live with- as long as they don't complain about ME trying it. ;))

The other dish involved the ancient grain, quinoa, in Quinoa with Tomatoes, Parmesan & Basil. I've never tried quinoa and thought it was very tasty, though the dish didn't turn out perfectly. It really had too much liquid. I think it needed to simmer longer- and I kept it in for longer than called for, but the rest of the dinner was getting cold or over cooked, so eventually I just cut my losses and served it. So, I would add to the simmering time below OR boil it a little longer. Maybe I cut THAT too short? Anyway, it didn't fluff very well. lol. I DO want to try it again- it really did taste good, if it was a little unappetizing looking. It was definitely a do-again.

Cider-Braised Ontario Pork Chops with Apples and Garlic

4 Berkshire pork chops, 1″ thick I just got reg loin chops :)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 head garlic, broken into cloves unpeeled
1 c. hard dry cider I used reg cider
2 cooking apples, cored
12 fresh sage leaves

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Pat pork chops dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over med-high brown pork chops 2-3 mins per side.

3. While the chops are browning, place the garlic cloves in a small sauce pan, pour in cider, and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 4 mins.

4. Cut each apple crosswise into 4 slices. I used an extra apple that I cut "wrong" :)

5. Place the apple slices in a baking dish and then place the browned chops on top. Remove the frying pan from heat and pour in the garlic and cider, stirring to deglaze the pan. Pour this mixture over the chops; there should be just enough liquid to cover the bottom of the dish. Top the chops with sage and bake for 30-40 mins. or until the juices from the pork chops run clear.

6. Serve each chops with two apple slices, sage and garlic. Spoon over the liquid.

To squeeze the garlic out of the skin just press with your fork. (or NOT if you are a member of my family!)

(6 points per serving)

Quinoa with Tomatoes, Parmesan & Basil

1 c quinoa
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 c vegetable stock
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 c frshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c thinly sliced fresh basil
Shaved Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

1. Rinse quinoa in a sieve, stirring. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat oil in saucepan over med heat. Add onion and saute for 3 mins or until starting to soften. Add garlic, pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and saute for 1 min. Add stock and bring to boil, scraping up any bits.

3. Stir in quinoa and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 mins. or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. 15 mins wasn't long enough. Mine still had a lot of liquid even with extra time. I should have boiled it longer maybe? Remove from heat and sprinkle tomatoes on top. Cover and let stand 5 mins.

4. Gently stir in tomatoes, the grated Parmesan, and half of the basil with a fork, fluffing as you stir. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with shaved Parmesan and remaining basil.

(3 points per serving)


carla said...

today? all I have for you is that you are SOOO KITCHEN MOTIVATED.

I need to get there.

(um, the motivation not the kitchen :) I get to the kitchen)

Cammy said...

That does it. I'm moving in. Just clear out a spot in the corner. I'll bring my own blanket and pillow. :)

Kelly said...

Those pork chops look great. I saw the title of liquor store recipes and I ws thinking ritas, martinis, etc. LOL

Thanks for posting the recipe too. I'm saving it!

JanetM97 said...

Thanks girls! and Cammy, you're welcome anytime! and you don't have to sleep in the corner- unless it's one of your napping rules. ;)

and Kelly, lol about the drinking thing. hee! (Christmas was more about the martinis...)