Monday’s the day when I make the decision — or the decision gets made for me — as to where I’m going in the fall as Professor Edwards. I like one alternative more, but it’s less likely, and to be frank, the choices to be had are excellent. I didn’t get my “reach” school — and I probably shouldn’t have expected to, though that’s a hard thing to tell oneself — but I was a very fortunate job candidate.
Until Monday, food to enjoy; one of those rare recipes to which I know I’ll continue to return. Although overall start-to-finish time is four and a half hours, actual cooking-effort prep time is maybe ten minutes, max: the rest is just time spent doing other things; reading, grading papers, and the like. And they’ll come out as the best OMG juicy and tender pork chops you’ve ever had.
2-4 boneless pork chops, 0.75 to 1 inch thick (don’t get the thin-cut)
1 small onion, sliced thin into rings
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons white sugar or brown sugar
3 tablespoons coarse salt
2 cups hot (nearly boiling) water
1 cup cold water
3 tablespoons strong-flavored hard liquor — bourbon, scotch, sambuca, or what-have-you; the meat will soak up the flavor
2 tablespoons walnut, hazelnut, or vegetable oil
1 cup combination liquid sauces of your choice, as long as they’re not too salty (Thai peanut sauce, Teriyaki sauce, barbecue sauce, Chili sauce, liquid wasabi, honey, et cetera)
Put the pork chops into a dish that’ll allow them to lie flat and three cups of liquid to cover them completely. Arrange the onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, and cloves on top of them.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, and nearly boiling water until the sugar and salt dissolve. Then whisk in the cold water, liquor, and oil and combine well. Pour over the pork chops. Put the dish with the pork chops into the refrigerator and chill for two hours, turning the chops every hour.
After two hours, pour off one cup of the brine, and add the 1 cup of liquid sauces. Marinate for another two hours, turning the chops twice.
2 tablespoons oil, melted butter, or melted margarine for egg mixture
2 tablespoons oil, melted butter, or melted margarine for pan
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons milk, beer, water, or broth
0.5 teaspoon black pepper
0.5 teaspoon cumin
0.5 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup self-rising cornbread mix
2 tablespoons flour
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil, butter, or margarine into a clean baking pan big enough for the chops.
Mix together the dry ingredients (spices, flour, cornbread mix) in a separate pan big enough to dredge the chops through.
In a bowl, whisk together all the remaining liquid ingredients: the oil or melted butter or margarine, the beaten egg, and the milk or beer or water or broth. It should be thick enough to stick to and coat the chops. Dip the chops into the egg mixture, covering them entirely.
Then dredge the chops through the dry ingredients, covering them well but shaking off the excess.
Bake in oiled pan at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn chops gently, not losing the breading, and cook for 10 more minutes, until both sides are golden brown. Let stand for 3 minutes and enjoy while hot.
Probably best with a big grassy fruit-bomb Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc.
You did save a bottle, didn’t you?