Friday, November 25, 2011

No turkeys were harmed in the making of this feast!


Thanksgiving this year couldn't have been any better!  I got to spend the day with Devan without ANY interruptions! It was a day of relaxation, laughs, and love!  Firstly, we got to sleep in.  He had stayed the night at my place wednesday night and slept in...which he never gets to do when he sleeps over!  We had a fabulous breakfast then went back to his place.  He decided to pull out the tree so we put that up (just the tree and adornments as of yet).  After the tree went up we went to the store and got the ingredients to make dinner.  We decided NOT to go with a traditional turkey meal because we agreed it would have been too much work and ultimately it was just the two of us.  So...this is what we made, thanks to Food Network Magazine:

Active: 30min Total: 40min Serves: 4

4 half inch boneless centercut pork chops
1/2  tsp cajun seasoning
3/4 C all purpose flour
2 tbl olive oil
1tbl butter
1 large onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1tbl fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 C chicken broth
2/3 C buttermilk

1. Sprinkle the pork chops with the salt and cajun seasoning.  Pour the flour into a shallow bowl.  Dredge the chops in the flour turning to coat, and tap off any excess.  Reserve the remaining flour.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet ovr medium high heat.  Add the chops and cook about 3-4 min per side.  Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the butter, onion thyme and salt to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown. About 8-10 min.  Add 2 tbl of the reserved flour to the skillet and cook stirring 1 minute.  Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by one third.  About 2 minutes.
4. Add the buttermil and return the chops to reheat through.  Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low andcook till the sauce is thickened and the chops are heated through.
5. Let rest for 3 minutes and serve.

***NOTE:  We did not have the Cajun seasoning so I decided to make my own.  I used equal parts of garlic power, onion powder, ancho chili powder, grill mates montreal steak seasoning, and chipolte powder.  Worked perfectly.  I also served the chops with greenbean casserole and baked potato.  Next time I will serve with a rice or quinoa because the dish overall was too "saucy"...delicious, but saucy!  Had a pinot grigio to drink with this FABULOUS meal!  Devan and I cooked it together, which made it even more special!  (picture does not do justice to this dish)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Let the creativity roll...

Added an appendix to the wine journal:

1. The SITUATION: Mid week friend crisis (exempting death/dumping)
    The CURE: Moscato: inexpensive and acceptable
    OTHER: Best paired with high calorie junk food.

2. THE SITUATION: Informal Dinner Party
    THE CURE: Bring several bottles and serve the best first!
                        RED: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Cab blends
                        WHITE: Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
    OTHER: Choose your selection based on the menu.  Don't be cheap. Spend at least $8-15/bottle

3. THE SITUATION: Formal Dinner
    THE CURE: RED: Malbec, Sangiovese, mediul/higher end Cab. Sav or Pinot Noir
                        WHITE: Bordeaux Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sparkling Wine
    OTHER: Multiple bottles are a MUST!  Count on 1-2 bottles/person
                                                                -White before Red
                                                                -Light before Heavy
                                                                -Dry before Sweet
                                                                -Simple before Complex

4. THE SITUATION:  Get together with an unknown crowd and or menu
    THE CURE:  Inexpensive to mid range selctions
                         RED: mid range Pinot Noir
                         White: Pinot Grigio
    OTHER: take at least 2 bottles and go with white first as more people like white initially.

5. THE SITUATION:  Disdain
    THE CURE: RED: Merlot **only**
                        WHITE: Chardonnay **only**
    OTHER: No need for fancy stemwear as guests will not be staying long! "SOLO" (red cups) will do!

6. THE SITUATION: Poking fun at someone's lack of Wine IQ
    THE CURE: Lambrusco, Arbor Mist (you get the fucking point)
    OTHER:  Please reference #5. RULE OF THUMB: If you can buy it in the same store you buy  cigarettes or slurpees, it's a NOOOOO!!!!

7. THE SITUATION: Best friend fights
    THE CURE: #1- Layer Cake- Malbec
                        #2- Tormenta- Cabernet Sauvignon
    OTHER: MUST drink in this order! NO substitutions on wine choices.  Both bottles MUST be consumed