I can’t really believe that I’ve been blogging for over two years, and I haven’t gotten around to posting about one of my passions in life: cooking (well, eating is the passion, cooking is the skill). The inspiration for tonight’s dinner was Ming Tsai’s Ginger Fuji-Apple Chutney. I first heard about the recipe while watching my usual dose of food porn on the Food Network, and it seemed just too intriguing to pass up.
I pretty much took the idea he presented and just improvised my own version. I also made about half the amount he did. I began by sweating a diced white onion in a tiny bit of canola oil, and then added two large Fuji apples, diced and a couple of tablespoons of fresh peeled and grated ginger. A pinch of kosher salt and a couple of grinds of black pepper, and I let them warm together, then added 1 cup of cider vinegar (his recipe called for rice wine vinegar, but I didn’t have enough, so I used cider vinegar) and a cup of apple juice, and let that bubble down for 45 minutes, until all the flavors are melded. Taste it, it’s good stuff, with a great bright flavor.
Ming has great sounding potsticker recipe that mixes this chutney with ground pork and soy to make the filling for some of my favorite dumplings, but tonight I decided to use them as a topping for some thick pork chops that I had on hand. I brined them for 4 hours in a mixture of 4 cups water, 1/2 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup sugar, and them dusted them with flour and browned them 5 minutes on a side over medium high heat. My chops were pretty thick, so they were still a bit underdone, so I put them in a 350 degree oven for 10 more minutes to finish. In the mean time I took 1 cup of water to deglaze the pan, and then mixed in 1 cup of the chutney. Ming used white wine to deglaze, but I normally don’t keep it on hand (I’m no longer much of a drinker). Ming served his with mashed sweet potatoes with maple syrup, which would have been good, but I served them with fresh corn on the cob and a side salad. Drop your yummy chop on the plate and cover it with the chutney mix. It was very good. I’m writing this recipe down into my list of culinary successes.
It’s not a mystery why it is good: apples and pork are two tastes that go terrific together, and with the hint of ginger and onion, the mix is just really delicious. Eating delicious food is a good cure to having to count your calories.