Archive for the ‘Pork’ Category

I did it my way

March 22, 2016
Pork chop giambotta grilled over fresh oregano.

Pork chop giambotta grilled over fresh oregano.

A common dish on Italian inspired restaurants around here is “Pork Chop Giambotta”.

Giambotta (or sometimes, Ciambotta) is a stew of vegetables (peppers, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, etc.) sometimes augmented with a protein (fish or meat). Colloquially, at least when I was growing up, it could also mean “a mess” or “all mixed up”. A reflection, no doubt, of the infinite combinations of ingredients in the so-named dish.

The pork chop giambotta found in local eateries most often is a stew of potatoes and peppers (sometimes onions) seasoned with garlic and herbs (and maybe wine) and then cooked along with a bone-in chop or two. The servings are often quite generous and leftovers come home to be added to a risotto the following day.

There are other versions around that substitute pickled peppers for the sweet bell peppers. (A dish akin to Chicken Murphy). Since I’m the only one in our household who likes the spicier, tangy peppers, we stick to the sweet ones.

Taking advantage of a nice, early spring evening I decided to make version on the grill. It turned out well enough that there weren’t any leftovers. No risotto tomorrow.

Grilled Pork Chop Giambotta

  • Four, bone-in, thick cut pork chops
  • Four sweet bell peppers (if you can get different colored peppers, it makes a nicer presentation), stemmed, seeded and cut into strips
  • One medium onion, thickly sliced (optional)
  • 1 ½ pounds small, red skin potatoes (or any potato you have on hand)
  • Olive oil
  • Two cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Get your grill going so it’s at high heat.

While the grill is heating up, wash the potatoes. Halve any that are too large so that they are of a uniform size. Cook in microwave on high for about 8 minutes (or boil in salted water until just fork tender. Drain).

In a large bowl, toss the peppers, onion if using, garlic, a tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves, salt and pepper to taste with enough olive oil to coat well. Add the pre-cooked potatoes and mix well. Set aside.

When the grill is ready, season one side of each of the pork chops. Lay two or three sprigs of the fresh oregano on the grill and place a chop, seasoned side down, on the herbs. Repeat for the other chops.

Cook for 3 to 5 minutes (until the chop just starts to sear) and then carefully rotate the chops a quarter turn on the grill. (The timing depends upon the thickness of the chops).

Place the vegetables in a grill basket and place on the grill alongside the chops. Stir, shake or flip often to keep the vegetables from burning.

Season the second side of the shops, add some more oregano sprigs to the grill and flip the chops over onto them.

Cook until desired doneness.  (About 160 degrees) serve over the roasted vegetables and enjoy. Serves 4, but can be scaled up or down to meet your needs.

Sometimes a fun, if not a great, notion

March 8, 2015

Blame it on the weather induced cabin fever.

Dinner is served: Pork Roll Wellington, roasted potatoes, salad.

Dinner is served: Pork Roll Wellington, roasted potatoes, salad.

Or maybe it is a hyper awareness of all things pork roll. One friend is working on putting together his second festival honoring that local indigenous product and another has just released a book on the subject.

Whatever the cause, “inspiration” struck earlier this week and I just had to act on it: Pork Roll Wellington!

Right out of the oven!

Right out of the oven!

Don’t laugh (yet).

What if we dressed up this Jersey favorite pork product with some chicken liver pâté and mushroom duxelles and then wrapped the package in some puff pastry? Would it be edible? Tasty? Worth the effort?

2015-03-08 15.47.01OK. Laugh if you want, but it wasn’t that bad. And it wasn’t that difficult.

I adapted this recipe for Beef Wellington.  Instead of the beef tenderloin, I used one of those cute little 1 pound “chubs” of Cases’ Pork Roll. I made the chicken liver pâté last night from the recipe linked to from the Beef Wellington page (click here). The duxelles I made earlier today so they could cool down.

As per the recipe, I mixed the mushrooms and some of the pâté together. After rolling out a sheet of puff pastry, I spread the mixture over the pastry. Having removed the pork roll from its traditional canvas casing, I then set it on the “dressed” pastry dough and rolled it up. The seam and the ends were sealed with some beaten egg and pressed together. Placing the package seam side down on a baking sheet, I set it back in the refrigerator to cook later.

Have you ever seen a "naked" pork roll?

Have you ever seen a “naked” pork roll?

Since the pork roll comes “ready to eat” you only have to bake the dish long enough to heat it through and brown the dough nicely. I put mine in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes and then lowered the temp to 400 for another 15 or so.

Admittedly I didn’t know how this would come out but it tasted pretty good. I might try adding an “inner wrap” of phyllo dough (in place of the crepes in the original) to act as a vapor barrier and reduce the sogginess of the underside of the pastry crust. My wellington stuck a little to the aluminum foil I lined the baking sheet with. A bit of oil, Pam, or maybe using a silpat should remedy that.

Give it a try. It’s a fun way to dress up an old standby.

A little slice of pig heaven.

A little slice of pig heaven.