Even in the midst of a busy catering season, I try and cook a nice meal once in a while for the kids. This one’s inspiration came from the door of my fridge (filled with condiments) and my desire to actually have the door close on it’s own! Out came the half used bottles of hoisin and fermented black bean paste; as well as the red cabbage that was nearing expiration. I have a freezer in my basement of meats from a recent shopping trip to Restaurant Depot, so I pulled out a package of 1” thick bone-in pork chops in the morning and by the time I finished up work, they were thawed and ready to go.
Here is the “near-magic” dinner that came together that evening. The combination of the sweet and spicy grilled pork chops, the piquant braised red cabbage and the smooth, creaminess of the delicious mashed red skinned potatoes was absolutely dreamy. Try it for your next get together. Your guests will be wowed.
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Pork Chops- serves 4
4 1” thick bone-in pork chops
1 cup hoisin sauce- preferably an authentic brand!
2 tbsp. of each of the following:
sherry or apple cider vinegar
rice wine vinegar
soy sauce or tamari
minced garlic (not from a jar!)
minced fresh ginger
chopped jalopeno with seeds
fermented black bean paste (available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Chinese markets, some mainstream markets)
Couple of dashes of white pepper (black pepper ok too)
Mix this marinade and pour over pork chops and turn them in the mixture. Marinate over night or all day. Prepare hot grill. Grill chops being careful not to burn since there is a lot of sugar in the marinade. I often grill the chops for a few minutes each side and then finish them off in the oven. Maybe 15 minutes or so.
Braised Red Cabbage
2 pieces of bacon- chopped
½ cup each chopped red onion and carrot
1 medium red cabbage- thinly sliced and chopped
some sugar- 2 tbsp.
¼ – ½ c. rice wine vinegar
Saute the chopped bacon on medium high until fat is released. Add onion and carrot and cook down for 5 minutes. Add some oil if necessary. Add the chopped cabbage, a little sugar, and maybe a ¼ cup or more of the vinegar and some water if necessary to cook the cabbage down. Reduce heat and cover and steam for 40 minutes on simmer.
Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes
6-8 medium to large red skinned potatoes- halved
Salt and pepper
Place halved potatoes in pan of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender. Drain and using potato ricer, mash and then add ½ cup milk at a time, each time mashing until the right consistency. Add half a stick of butter and some seasoning- salt and pepper.