Saturday, August 31, 2013

Grilled Black Bean Sauce Pork Chops

Wow, the summer blew by quickly, and what a fantastic summer it's been.  We had epic weather here in Seattle.  It's been the best summer weather I can remember.  We've been grilling a lot, experimenting a little, but mostly going back to old favorites.  With the warm weather, we've been enjoying sweet and flavorful tomatoes from the garden.  The garlic I harvested last month has been fantastic.  My potato crop was a little disappointing volume wise.  They've been delicious, but I just didn't get as many as I'd like.  I need more room!  Since the garlic has been harvested, I've planted various Chinese leafy greens.  They are fast growing, and so we get quick satisfaction.  Tonight, I'm going to wok fry some Petit Star bok choi, roast some potatoes and grill some thick cut pork chops.
Yesterday, I wandered into Tom Douglas' Assembly Hall on the ground floor of Via 6, a new apartment building on the corner of 6th Avenue and Lenora downtown.  It had a good feel and I'll be back to try Tanaka San, but I did come home with a jar of Tanaka San's black bean sauce from the market, Home Remedy.  I'm trying out that black bean sauce in a marinade for the pork chops tonight.  It has a delicate smoky flavor unlike other black bean sauces I've used.  Nice.

4 bone-in, thick cut pork chops
3/4 cup Simply Apple pure pressed apple juice
2 tablespoons Tanaka San's black bean sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 scallions, sliced on the bias
2" piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Combine the marinade ingredients.  Pour over the pork chops or place everything into a large zip lock bag.  Refrigerate and marinate for at least 6 hours our overnight.
Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.  I pulled mine out an hour ahead, but let it be known this is not generally recommended from a food safety regulation standpoint.  But bringing the meat to room temp allows for more even cooking.
Light a charcoal grill, and grill the pork chops over the hottest part of the coals until medium rare.  Brush the chops with the marinade as you grill.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dungeness Crab Risotto

A trip up to Whidbey Island this past week brought us home with a bagful of freshly caught Dungeness crab and fresh English shelling peas.  Thanks to salmon heads and turkey legs for bait, and a good pot drop, we hauled in plenty of crab to feast on.  And thanks to the Bayview Farmer's Market, I found, to my surprise, what may be the last fresh English peas of the season.  Armed with both, I received the request from the kids to have crab risotto.

For the risotto:
1 Large shallot, finely chopped
1 cup carnaroli rice
2 Tablespoons olive oil1/3 cup dry white wine
4-6 cups chicken stock, heated to simmer
1/4 cup mascarponi cheese
1/2 cup freshly shelled English peas
1 heaping cup of fresh dungeness crab meat at room temp
White truffle oil to finish

Heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté until translucent.  Add the risotto and saute until the rice is well incorporated and starting to make a slight whistling/crisping sound.  Deglaze with the white wine and simmer until wine is almost completely evaporated.  Begin adding the chicken stock, enough each time to just cover the rice.  Stir once and let simmer until the stock is almost completely evaporated.  Then add more stock.  Continue this process until rice is al denté.  
Meanwhile, blanche the peas in boiling, salted water for 90 seconds.  Drain and shock with ice water.Once rice is cooked, add mascarpone and another 1/2 cup of stock.  Stir until well combined.  
Add 1/4 cup of the crab meat  and the peas and stir in to incorporate. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve the risotto with a drizzle of white truffle oil then topped with more dungeness crab.