Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Maple Inspired Pork Chops & A Few Random Thoughts

Yesterday, I shared a recipe for Maple Roasted Butternut Squash.  I suggested you pair it with your favorite protein...today I will share my protein choice.  Now you may be asking yourself, "self, why didn't Lise share this recipe with me yesterday"..truth be told, I didn't like the way the final product picture turned out (I've confessed before that I need to learn how to photograph food). But I tell you, it was so darn good and a perfect complement to the squash that I decided I had to share it (and it was an experiment gone well, so that made me want to share it with you all the more!).  

Maple Inspired Pork Chops
You will want to use a good cut of pork chop for this; I used loin center cut chops because they were on sale, but they are much too fatty, you want to have a cut of solid meat for this recipe.  In fact, this recipe will work beautifully with chicken too!
Marinade Ingredients:
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Palmful of turmeric (a mildly gingery tasting spice that has a vibrant yellow color)
Palmful of sage

Mix the ingredients into a small bowl.

Pork Chop Breading Ingredients:
1/2 cup of plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of crushed Grape Nut Flakes cereal (tastes a little sweet and nutty, I love this for breakfast)
Palmful of sage
Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine into a bowl

Rub both sides of your pork chops with the marinade and let them seep in the goodness for a least 1/2 hour.

Once the chops have marinated, press your breading onto both sides of the chop.

Heat a cast iron skillet to high and put a thin coat of extra virgin olive oil in the pan.  Shake off the excess breading and place the chops into the pan to brown on each side (about 5 - 7 minutes).  Then put the pan with the chops into a 425 degree oven for 20 - 30 minutes. ( NOTE: a friend suggested this may be too long to cook the chops; she has a point.  Johny likes his meat cooked through and through, so you may want to adjust your cooking time by your preferences and the thickness of the meat.  Use a meat thermometer to confirm your meat is done...just make sure the thermometer is working!) 

This is your end result, crunchy pork chops with perfectly roasted butternut squash...all infused with a subtle maple flavor.  The turmeric adds a slight zing that is refreshingly nice for the taste buds!
You know, in hindsight, I could have surrounded the pork chop with the squash, or maybe made a little mound of squash with the chop leaning on it, that would have created a much more appealing photo...what do you think?

And now for a few random thoughts...

  • I went to the dentist yesterday for my new patient appointment and to get my teeth cleaned.  This was the most thorough dental exam I have ever had.  FYI, I wasn't nervous for this one, getting my teeth cleaned doesn't give me the same high anxiety as seeing the dentist for a procedure does.  If you live in the Jackson County NC area, and are looking for a dentist, I highly recommend Dr. F. Patrick McGuire, DDS, he (and all his staff) is kind, gentle, thorough and knowledgeable.  I will go see him next week to discuss his findings from the exam and all the x-rays, at which point we will determine a treatment plan (if needed).  If I need to implement an if needed treatment plan, (I already know I have one tooth that needs attention, just because of the way it feels when I run my tongue over it), then I will remind myself how much I like him and his staff, and proceed with medicinal assistance to keep myself calm if/when I go for the next appointment.  My dad says he thinks this anxiety stems from all the times he and my mom had me go for my dental appointments by myself; the dentist office was on my way as I walked home from school...who knows!
  • It has been so warm here that the plants think it's spring...of course, it's still winter, and any future freezing temperatures will likely kill all these delicate buds.  The first photo is Hydrangea and the second is one of our apple trees.

  • We don't need to be worried about buds freezing for the next several days because it's supposed to be rainy with temperatures 20 degrees warmer than usual!  Geesh, it IS winter, right?  I know grey skies are part of winter weather, but I'd surly like the cold temperatures to go along with it!  It's time for me to begin repeating my mantra..."let it snow, let it snow, let it snow".

  • Did I mention that ongoing grey skies with warm temperatures are really dreary?  I was happy to see the sun break through the clouds several times today:)

  • Finally, and not such a random thought, I want to thank you, my family/friends/readers/subscribers/followers for visiting my blog every day, making your comments, sharing your own blogs, and helping make Lise's Log Cabin Life a success!  I do appreciate you! 
Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Your chops look good and so did your butternut squash.
Tonight I made the blacksmith one of his favorites, barley soup. I tried whole pearl barley. It was yummy!
I heard from a friend in Brasstown NC, that her daffodils are starting to come up. Crazy!
We have gotten a little rain last night and today, not near enough!

Lise said...

Thanks Patti. Barley soup sounds good, especially on these dreary rainy days! I wish I could send you some of our rain...it doesn't want to stop, and even when it does, it stays grey! The good thing is it's warm enough to walk around the mountain (between drops)!

Dad/Pepere said...

Yes, Donald would say presentation is everything...I can't tell you my opinion, because I'm not a good "presenter". Glad you found a good dentist...can't wait to see that brilliant smile again. Hugs!

Lise said...

Can't wait to see you too Dad! Hugs back:)