Friday, October 29, 2010

Skillet Pork Chop with Mustard Sauce

To the Guy who Broke Into My Car Last Weekend,
You caught me by surprise.  I am amazed at how brave you are to rob my car, inside our apartment parking lot... and to come back for a second run the next day.

But actually I am sorry for you on all that effort, and for taking such a risk.  You see, I do not have much valuables in my car. I am probably just as broke as you.

I would like to thank you though, for even with an evil intention, you managed to give me some consideration.  Thank you for breaking the rear passenger vent window, instead of the bigger windows.  This makes it cheaper for me to have it replaced than if it were any of the bigger ones, or worse, the windshield!  I have to pay out of pocket to get it fixed so thank you for breaking in the cheaper way.  

I also would like to thank you for not stealing my daughter's car seat.  Really, I appreciate that you had concern for my baby riding a car without a safe seat.  You see, the car seat must have been the most expensive thing inside my car.   Thank you very much for leaving that behind.

So why did you not take it all the first time?  Did someone bother you in the middle of your business?  I wondered why you only took the face plate on my car stereo the first time.  You see, it does not really work without the whole thing. So I guess the pawnshop told you it's not worth any without the whole piece so you came back.  But sorry too, because even with the whole piece the darn thing does not work properly.  The FM is broken.  My guess is that the stereo is probably worth $10 all in all.  It's 7 years old.  Well hopefully my CDs, my cellphone charger & headphone and jacket will be worth something to make up for it.

I want to thank you too because after scattering my junk all over the place I finally had to clean up my car of all the nonsense - mapquest printouts (yes, I do not own a GPS) and other trash that does not belong there.  I have been meaning to do it for about a year but never got to it.  Now it's all organized and neat!

I ask you though not to ever come back again.  But if you do, please return the other pair of my shoe you took.  I really like those, and it's useless for either me or you to have only one of each.  And let me know so I can leave a door or a window open. I hate cleaning up those broken glasses, and I am too scared for my little girl to step on them.   Mostly it's a hassle to get things fixed and the repair is worth more than any of the stuff I keep inside.  Now I am more broke that I have to cut down on our dinner costs.

And so for dinner tonight I am making pork chop instead of steak.  But thank you too, dear thief, because it is a healthier meat and I really need to control my diet because my cholesterol level is borderline bad.  The pork chop actually came out really good.  Thanks to Mark Bittman, this is now my favorite pork chop recipe.

Skillet Pork Chop with Mustard Sauce
Serves 4
Time: 30 minutes

4 bone in pork chops, about 1 inch thick
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 tablespoons minced shallots, onion, or scallion)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or calamansi)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon Worcestershire  Sauce
coarsely chopped fresh parsley

Sprinkle the chops with salt & pepper.  Place a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil; as soon as the first wisps of smoke rise from the oil, add the chops & turn the heat to high. Brown the meat on both sides, moving them around so they develop good color all over.  The entire browning process should take no longer than 4 minutes, and preferrably less.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add the wine and garlic (or shallots/onion/scallion) and cook, turning the chops once or twice, until the wine is all but evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, turn the heat to low, and cover. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the chops once or twice, until the chops are tender  but not dry.  When done, they will be firm to the touch, their juices will run just slightly pink and, when you cut into them (which you should do if unsure of their doneness), the color will be rosy at first glance but quickly turn pale.

Remove the chops and set aside unto a platter.  If the pan juices are very thin, cook stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly.  If the liquid is scarce (unlikely), add more broth or water; cook stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly.  Then stir in the butter over medium heat; add the lemon juice, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce and parsley.  Whisk well and pour sauce over chops.  Serve.

Note:  Alternatively you can use chicken thighs or pork tenderloin (cut in 1 inch thick medalions).  Chicken will need to cook a bit longer.  Pork tenderloin on the other hand will cook much quicker.

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