Monday, July 5, 2010

coffee marinated pork chops

coffee marinated pork chop with food co-op pesto and salad

So I found this recipe for pork chops marinated in Manhattan Special Coffee Soda in the Yelp talk threads. I once went out to lunch at Tino's on Arthur Ave with my friend Kevin and decided to try the Manhattan Special Coffee Soda. I thought it was pretty disgusting, but then again I don't like coffee or soda, so I am probably not the best judge of the product. I do like many coffee flavored things, and I actually tried some coffee flavored steak at this Greek place in Astoria earlier this year that was absolutely delicious. Therefore, a coffee marinated pork chop sounded pretty good to me, so I decided to take up the recipe's suggestion of plain old coffee as a replacement for the espresso soda.

Of course, to marinate anything in coffee, you first have to brew it. To most people this is probably second nature, but aside from occasionally running the coffee machine at the deli I worked at when I was seventeen, I've never brewed a cup of coffee. Somehow, I've made it through life without caffeine— no soda, no coffee, no tea. Normally, I feel pretty good about that, but when I needed to make the coffee for my pork chops, I all of sudden felt as though I was lacking an essential life skill.

Laura used to have a French press thingie (I think), but it got old and clogged, and then she decided she wasn't going to drink coffee anymore, threw it out and has not replaced it since. That means we had no coffee machine, no filters, no anything. So, I MacGyvered myself a cup of coffee using a paper towel and a funnel. It was totally ghetto and I'm sure it was a weak ass cup of coffee. However, since it wasn't for drinking, I thought it would be okay.

I put my coffee in a tupperware and added chopped ginger, garlic and parsley, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, dried thyme, salt and pepper. I stirred up the marinated, added two pork chops, and set it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

I pan-fried the pork chops and tried to reduce the sauce into a glaze in a separate pot. The chops were a bit too wet and didn't brown up the way I would have liked them to, and the sauce didn't ever get any thicker, which was a disappointment. The taste was good, but I think a longer marinading period would have produced a stronger, more pronounced coffee flavor. Also, I realized afterward that the original recipe probably meant dried ground ginger, which probably would have made a bit more sense. Otherwise, the ingredients made for a tasty marinade.

We served our pork chops alongside a fresh food co-op salad. We also had a particularly good batch of pesto for dinner. Nathan would like to take the credit, but I suspect that it may have something to do with the basil itself, which came from the food co-op and looked to be a slightly different variety than that I am used to.

All in all in was a good, tasty, satisfying dinner. Nothing fancy, but it did hit the spot on a Sunday evening.

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