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?

Rosemary Pork Chop Skillet

We recently bought pork chops at Costco and froze them for future dinners. It’s worked out really well because the pork freezes excellently and the meat doesn’t seem effected by the process. I wanted to make a pork and squash dinner so to the internets I went! And I found a recipe: Rosemary Pork Chop Skillet.

Two things to keep in mind: 1) It does NOT take 35 minutes from start to finish because I don’t know about you, but peeling the skin off squash is the biggest pain in the butt ever and takes FOREVER. So be prepared–it’s more like an hour start to finish. 2) I would measure the calories by the ounces of the pork chops you have, not go off this recipes. The pork chops we got at Costco were humongous (10 and 9 ounces each) so double what the recipe said.

I started the prepping. I peeled a bunch of the skin off the acorn squash but it was aggravating me and my hand was cramping so Michael took over the peeling.

While he peeled, I chopped the onion and measured out all the other ingredients. And I got the rosemary from the garden.

I skipped the zucchini (we didn’t have any) and the sage. (I had some fresh thyme but I wasn’t sure if I could substitute the thyme for the sage). Michael worked on browning the pork chops and then added all of the ingredients to the skillet.

While dinner was simmering in the skillet, I poured a glass of wine. It was a wonderful, earthy bottle of Zinfandel that we got for Christmas from Michael’s stepbrother. I loved the wine. It was sweet like cherries and tasted like pepper and dirt. It was a lovely combination.  I consulted the wine book my brother got me for Christmas to make sure that this Zinfandel would go with pork and it did. Score!

Dinner took a little longer to make because we had those monster Costco pork chops. As a result the pork was a little dry. Next time, we’ll cut them in half lengthwise. I think that would be better.

The squash and onions were really flavorful and we both enjoyed that. There was enough leftover squash and onions to have for lunch the next day. This isn’t the best pork recipe we’ve ever done but I think it was decent. The search continues…

QUESTION: What’s your favorite way to eat squash?