Thursday, June 14, 2012

saucy honey mustard pork chop/crispy quinoa leftovers with caramelized onions and a fried egg

As you may have realized, I like to read other food blogs, and that's where I tend to pick up my dinner ideas. However, sometimes (as with yesterday's entry) I like to just get down to business and cook, letting the ingredients take me where they will. That can lead to some plain sauteed spinach and fairly bland quinoa, but it can also lead to a legitimately awesome honey mustard pork chop.

If I was like, a real food blogger, I would have a real recipe with you, with like, tablespoons and all that jazz. As we all know, I'm not, so instead I'll just do a mediocre job describing how I prepared this, and tell you not to worry and hope for the best when trying this out for yourself. Sound good?

I think that when it comes to honey mustard pork chops, there are probably two schools of thought:

1. marinate the pork chops in a mix of honey and dijon mustard for a couple of hours before cooking

2. fry up the pork chops, set them aside, and make up a honey mustard pan sauce using the drippings

I am fairly certain that growing up my dad used to employ strategy number one, but for whatever reason  (probably because I didn't have time to let the meat marinate) I decided to enter previously unknown territory and create a honey mustard pan sauce. This ended up being surprisingly awesome, and also really easy.

Literally all I did was stir some dijon mustard, honey and a little butter in with the rendered fat from the pork chop, and let it cook for a few minutes over medium low heat. It was sweet and tangy, creamy and delicious. I will definitely be going the honey-mustard pan sauce route again.

As you can see in the top picture, I also made some more quinoa, which I tried to season with a little anchovy oil (from the giant jar of anchovies that I have) and some blue cheese crumbles. Despite these efforts, the quinoa was terribly bland, reinforcing my belief that health foods are really only enjoyable if you load them up with more flavorful, fatty foods, and what I did with the leftovers provides future proof.

The package of quinoa instructs you to boil the stuff, which I guess is well and good... until you've had fried quinoa. For breakfast the next day I melted a nob of butter in our cast iron skillet, and then started to caramelize some sliced red onion. I didn't take them all the way there, but they got pretty soft and sweet. Then I got impatient, cranked up the heat and tossed in the extra quinoa. It started blistering and popping, and the previously ho-hum texture totally changed. It was suddenly crankly and delicious! An amazing, delightfully crispy transformation!

And is if the sweet onions and suddenly awesome quinoa wasn't enough, I added a runny fried egg on top.

Cause I know how to eat health food.

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