Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Menu: Dinner among Giants

I spent Sunday evening with some wonderful people from my ward... new friends, and already treasured. And though I could go into detail, I'll just say that while the food was ( admittedly ) amazing, the company and the conversation was even better.

So in lieu of tantalizing gossip, a menu:

Seared brined pork chop served breakfast-style on savory French toast, with warm onion chutney.

Brined Pork Chop

Brine pork as follows ( multiply quantities by combined weight of chops )... For every pound of meat, mix 1 qt water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup kosher salt, sage, garlic, bay leaf, and coarsely-ground black pepper. Brine is best when sugar, salt, and water are brought to a quick boil until salt and sugar is completely dissolved, then chilled with herbs until room temperature.

Add meat to brine and let marinate in the cooler for 1 hour for every pound of meat ( based on average weight of meat in question ).

In my case, I had three pounds of meat divided among four 3/4-pound chops... So I tripled the basic brine recipe, and soaked for 3/4 of an hour. After the soak, chops are removed from brine ( which is discarded ), and are rinsed thoroughly and patted dry.

Sear the chops on high, with a pat of sage-infused, clarified butter. Place in 375 degree oven until medium-rare ( about ten minutes ); then remove from heat and let rest five minutes before slicing on the bias and serving atop savory French toast with onion chutney.

Savory French Toast

Cut quality baguette into one-inch slices ( on the bias ). Let air-dry overnight ( or use day-old bread ). Combine half-and-half and eggs to create egg bath, and add sage leaf, salt, and freshly-ground black pepper. Cook French toast as is customary.

Onion Chutney

Coarsely chop sweet onion, then brown in large sauté pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, bruised garlic, and a dash of red pepper flake. Brown in small batches, adding sweet, plump raisins as you go — roughly a 1:2 ratio, raisins to pre-browned onion. When complete gently pulse in food processor.

Sage-infused Clarified Butter

Gently melt unsalted butter. Let rest until milk solids separate and remove milk solids. Bring clarified butter to a medium-high temperature and add sage leaves. Remove from heat and let steep for a few minutes. Strain-out sage and store clarified butter in air-tight container in frig.

: )

Artfully compose plates. Enjoy with good friends.


Devin Thorpe said...

I can vouch for the good food and for the great conversation. Old friends already!

Silus Grok said...

You're too kind.