Enough, I say!
Enough posting links to and pictures of other peoples’ brilliant work in lieu of my own mediocre and haphazard creations. I’m finally going to write about something I actually did for a change.
I’ve been putting off posting this for a while, not because it was a disaster, but because the photographs themselves are absolutely hideous. I couldn’t get the light right, I couldn’t get the camera to focus and I was rushed because the people I was serving the meal to actually wanted to eat it, instead of sitting around and watching me take pictures of their food while it grew cold. Stupid, impatient people. Heh.
So, just keep in mind that while the photographs make the food look as if it was reconstituted out of some awful 1970s-era Baptist Ladies’ Fellowship cookbook, the food itself was really quite good.
Porkchops With Cherry Tomato-Mustard Sauce
Before I discuss the ingredients, I’d like to talk a little bit about where I found this recipe. My friend Sarah gave me the new Rocco DiSpirito cookbook recently. Aside from the undeniable eye-candy on the front cover:
…there are also some fantastic-sounding recipes inside (Beef with Crispy Potatoes and Blue Cheese; Goat Cheese Ravioli; Fried Scallops with Melted Onions; just to name a few).
But the book itself is weird. I’m educated-guessing that to replace the television income that has been depleted by his widely-publicized legal battle with his estranged produced/friend Jeffery Chodorow, he’s entered into a partnership with one or more food companies to promote their food in this cookbook.
The result is a bizarre mixture of polished yet accessible recipes (good!) with recurring calls for such random yet specific ingredients as “Amore® garlic paste” and “Victoria® Fra Diavolo sauce” or “Dole® classic Romaine lettuce” (bad!). I mean, we’re getting down to brands of lettuce here? Really?
The entire thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. These aren’t even things that real chefs cook with. Canned okra? Hellman’s® Dijonaise? Real chefs aren’t sending their staff out with directions to the nearest Sam’s Club, all: “If you don’t return with 80 cans of Green Giant® creamed corn, you can kiss your ass good-bye!” It’s a scam and it irritates the hell out of me.
If I wanted to cook with a specific list of pre-made, preservative-laden, name-brand ingredients, I’d rip the paper off the back of a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. It’s just not a very tasteful or professional way to write a cookbook and I find myself — yet again — disappointed with our boy wonder, whom I want so desperately to like.
All that said, I enjoyed the sound of Rocco’s recipe for porkchops with a mustard/cherry tomato sauce and decided to tweak it for my own tastes. It’s quick, easy to make, and is a real crowd-pleaser, which is why I love it. Finally…here is the recipe (brand names left out for everyone’s benefit): Continue reading Porkchops With Cherry Tomato-Mustard Sauce