Thursday, October 19, 2006

Southern Cooking-Smoked Pork Chops with Sauce Beautiful

Another cooking blog roundup-this time Southern. Check out all the entries at My husband cooks at

This is the number one selling dish at the restaurant, and it has an interesting story. The original recipe came from a cookbook entitled "Princess Pamela's Little Kitchen"-It is a collection of recipes from a famous soul food restaurant in Harlem-published in the 1960's. I don't have a copy of this book, but my friend Richard Perry does. He has served this dish for many years at "The Jefferson Avenue Boardinghouse", "Richard Perry Restaurant", and probably at "Orchid's" in Cincinatti, when he ran that restaurant.

Soul food restaurants sprang up in Black communities after the Southern diaspora when many of the rural South (Blacks and Whites) moved North for work in the factories. Beautiful was the name of Princess Pamela's mother and the sauce is named for her. It is a homey dish that never fails to please. I love to serve it at a big Southern breakfast with creamy grits to sop up the sweet glaze.

12 smoked pork chops
2 cups of peach preserves
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Combine all of the ingredients except the pork chops and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce until slightly thickened.

Briefly grill or saute the chops to brown them, add to the sauce and heat through. This dish holds nicely in a chafing dish .

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cooking class at the Kitchen Conservatory

Last night I taught a class at the Kitchen Conservatory, which is a marvelous cookware store and teaching facility. Over the years, I've taught there many times and I always enjoy it. I always meet such interesting people and learn as much from them as they from me. Last night had a Harvest theme.

The Menu:
Carrot and Parsnip latkes with creme fraiche and caviar
Roasted pumpkin stuffed with wild mushroom risotto
Duck Confit with persimmon sauce
Pomegranate salad
Apple, pear, and quince tart

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Monkfish and Lobster Tango

Once called the "poor man's lobster", it seems to have joined the upwardly mobile economic class as I paid over $10.00 a pound wholesale for it last week. The demand for fresh fish keeps climbing even in the landlocked Southern Illinois-St Louis area. The flavor and texture of monkfish is often compared to lobster, and I often use lobster in a monkfish dish to reinforce the similarities.

While the humble monkfish now demands more dollars and enjoys more respect culinarily, it is still decidedly "marrying up" in this dish. An exotic sauce flavored with vanilla bean and Italian prosecco complement the slightly sweet fishes. A saffron rice make a beautiful splash of color against the creamy sauce and the coral lobster.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Crab Stuffed Tenderloin with Sauce Choron

I've been so bored with tenderloin for the past couple of years. When I was doing a lot of catering it seems all everyone wanted was tenderloin. It does have a certain cache because of the expense and it is considered a luxury item, so on the positive side if you choose tenderloin to serve your guests it could say I'm generous and I honor my guests with this luxury item. Or on the other hand it could also say I'm rich and I'm a show off and I'm serving tenderloin to my guests. In any case here is a tenderloin I serve to much acclaim, eventhough it is something I don't especially care for myself. From a business standpoint it is a dish I like a lot because it sells well, is easy to prep, gets a high price point, and is profitable. It is also a bit of a show off dish, so if you have some of the show dog in your own genes you might like it as well.

Sauce Choron is one of those French classics, but it is so simple, just add some tomato paste to your bernaise sauce and it becomes Sauce Choron. I also garnish it with a couple of spicy shrimp.