Day 18: Fry
Well after last night’s dinner party, I was only too happy to continue on my way with a simple dinner for two. I don’t normally fry much for dinner, even less so when discussing dishes like pork chops.
In fact, and don’t hate me Ruhlman, we don’t eat much pork in this house. I’ll give you a minute to yell at the screen…
I promise, it isn’t because of some need to not eat pork…it just kind of happens that way. It really is as simple as that. To be fair though – bacon is a notable exception.
But I digress.
Here’s the lowdown on this section:
Both panfrying and deep-frying cook food at very high temperatures uniformly and efficiently. In addition to the added expense of oil, many people avoid deep-frying because they’re afraid. Others avoid it because they associate it with high calories, others because of the way the house smells the next day (an exhaust fan really helps!), and still others because they don’t like the cleanup. (p. 304)
It should come as no surprise to those that know me that I generally don’t fry food in my house for pretty much all of those reasons. Sure, sometimes the high-calorie reason trumps the others, but honestly? Fear is the biggest reason. If there is nothing else I have learned from this book, it’s that I should not fear a cooking method. I knew that this was going to require that I just ignore my fear and dive right in.
The rest of the essay portion gives a matter-of-fact approach on how to utilize the frying method. Everything from “Three Rules for Deep-Frying” to “Awesome Potato Chips“, it’s pretty well-covered. It definitely helped me lose my fear for tonight’s installment.
Recipe: Panfried Pork Chops with Lemon-Caper Sauce
Tonight’s dish came out so well that I kind of surprised myself. Especially since I so rarely fry anything, I really expected this to come out dry and well…horrible. I have a bit of a habit of over-cooking meat.
Although the recipe called for bone-in pork chops, I kind of forgot about that part of it when I went to the store today. So I bought the boneless pork chops more out of habit than anything else. When I got home and realized my mistake, I just hoped that it would not make a huge difference in how it came out, and it didn’t. So if you prefer pork chops boneless, this is still a great recipe. We decided to split one of the pork chops because the ones I bought were exceptionally huge. It was perfect for the two of us, while leaving some left over for lunch. The lemon-caper sauce is butter-based, so honestly, there was really no way for that to suck. It was all kinds of awesome.
Here’s tonight’s meal, all pretty: