Pork Chops with Ginger-Soy Glaze

Me and ginger have never really gotten along. My first experience with sushi was when an ex-boyfriend told me to open my mouth wide and he shoved a huge hunk of raw ginger in my mouth. I wanted to throw up. It turned me off to sushi and ginger for years. It wasn’t until I met Michael and gave sushi another chance that I got over it. But ginger? Still not a huge fan. When I eat sushi, I rarely eat it with ginger or wasabi.

Well, I wanted to give it another try. I like gingersnap or gingerbread cookies. I’m way older now, right? Maybe my palate has changed. That’s the reason why I chose this recipe.

I made the most common mistake I usually make with recipes: I skim the ingredients and don’t read the instructions until I’m ready to start. We tried to make this recipe a few days ago but I realized this marinade had to sit for 30 minutes to 3 hours! It was too late to start a marinade so I held onto the recipe for a few days letter and tried it again.

The preparation for this recipe was quick and easy. I halved the recipe since it was just the two of us. I substituted the Splenda/Sugar Blend instead of straight sugar, too. I had a jar of minced ginger that I used for the recipe, too.

For the broth, I used a homemade chicken and vegetable broth that was given to use by friends (thanks Alazar and Bob!). They made the stock from scratch–something I’ve never tried but want to! It was thicker than I was used to but smelled wonderful. I added just a splash of water to it to thin it out and then mixed in the rest of the ingredients.

The pork chop was a really nice cut. I used a small, shallow glass bowl with a lid and poured the marinade over it. The marinade smelled wonderful! I was really excited about the recipe, and hopeful. I let the marinade do it’s stuff for about 2.5 hours.

For the side dishes, we made steamed broccoli and also baked one acorn squash to split. I just cut the squash in half and baked it in the oven in a dish of water and seasoned the cooked squash with butter, salt and pepper.

While the squash cooked, Michael started the pork chop. He cooked it in the skillet and then removed it and wrapped it in foil while he reduced the fluid.

I scraped out the squash from the skin and then steamed some broccoli to go with dinner. The pork chop we were splitting was a tad on the small size, but the veggies and squash would be filling enough.

We poured the glaze over the pork. It was thick and shiny and smelled absolutely wonderful!

I loved the flavor of the glaze. Michael could really taste the ginger, but I didn’t taste very much. I tasted mostly the soy sauce–which I love. So shying away from recipes that call for ginger were unnecessary. Apparently my palate doesn’t mind the ginger.

I liked the dinner a lot and I would definitely make it again. I think this recipe is a good one for dinner guests. It seems like it might be difficult to make, but it was really easy. Easy to impress! This recipe is a keeper.

For dessert I made us vanilla pudding and added freshly sliced strawberries to my pudding. It was a really good dessert for half the calories of an ice cream dessert and I love strawberries. I liked the pudding as a sweet treat but I think I’d gotten sugar free by mistake or something because it tasted a little “chemically” to me. Oh well. It was a nice treat.

QUESTION: What is a food that you despised for a long time but gave it a second chance? Did your palate change?

Skillet Pork Chops Florentine

We needed a new recipe for pork chops. Michael bought a huge pack of thick pork chops at Costco recently and I’ve been collecting pork chop recipes to try. It’s not that pork chops are boring, they just aren’t as exciting as some other proteins. In fact, I didn’t really like pork for most of my life (before I was a vegetarian).

This recipe had two components that made me pick it: 1) it was easy as hell and 2) we had all the ingredients and there weren’t that many involved. Perfect.

Here is the recipe we tried for dinner recently.

Michael cut our pork chops in half lengthwise because they are so damn thick. Cutting them makes them a much more accurate portion size. While he cooked the pork (seasoned with salt and pepper), I made us salads.

Green leaf lettuce, raw cauliflower, croutons, fresh pepper, olive oil and balsamic. I chopped the onions and shredded the mozzarella cheese for the dinner. Michael cooked down the fresh spinach (much better than frozen, I think) and let everything simmer together.

Michael put the pork chops back into the skillet and let it simmer some more. It smelled heavenly! But red sauce and simmering onions usually do.

We topped the pork chops with the shredded cheese and let it melt a little bit and then dinner was served!

The flavors were really delicious and the dinner was super easy. I think it took a total of 20 minutes and the part that took the most effort was shredding the cheese. This is a good dinner to do on a night when you’re too tired to make a big effort.

Michael said it tasted good and he liked it. But with further discussion he said he’d never make it again. His opinion: pork chops have enough flavor and making a dish that covers the flavor seems like a waste. He said that this recipe would be better with eggplant or maybe chicken. I thought chicken would work really well, too. I disagreed with his assessment because I feel like pork chops are kind of bland. I enjoyed it! Smother those chops!

QUESTION: Do you like pork? Or do you think it’s bland?