Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pork Chops, Creamed Leeks and Rice Pasta

I love cooking with booze. Not only do I get to eat it, I get to drink it too! This particular recipe called for Calvados, something I have been meaning to try for quite some time and I found the perfect recipe for it. The drink I made to go along with this dish was Calvados + Maple Syrup + Lemon Juice. It was good...but a little too strong for me. Oddly enough I had gone to Cupcake Royale that morning for my Red Velvet Cupcake fix (no, that's not unusual) and instead of getting my Capuchino I purchased a freshly squeezed Lemonade instead. So I added it to the Calvados beverage and yum, yum, yum! It was perfect. So perfect. Not to be a complete snob but I think it helped that the Lemonade was of good quality. I will be cooking with Calvados in the future. It kinda reminded me of super fortified white wine. The apple notes and all. But it's really an AOC apple brandy. Way better than what I thought it was - an apple liquor. I was even looking in that section for it. Since it has these tantalizing hints of sweetness I think it will go great in a dessert as well.

As for the rice pasta in this dish, Case and I fans! Rice pasta, while it may sound a little weird, has a buttery taste. No kidding! It's got great texture and flavor (unlike whole grain pasta which I find are entirely too gritty and mushy all at the same time) and it's gluten free. While Case and I are not gluten intolerant I think we appreciate cutting out the gluten every once in awhile. Also, if you can find rice-quinoa pasta that is also amazing!

If you have the time, the recipe calls for a brining which I totally skipped. Follow the link.

Pork with Apples and Creamed Leek Rice Pasta
Adapted from Bon Appetite 
Serves 2

2 Pork Chops
1 Apple
Rice Pasta
2 good sized Leeks
1/4 c. Calvados
1/4 c. broth
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 c. heavy cream
butter/olive oil/bacon fat

Start the water boiling. While you are waiting, clean, halve and chop your leeks. Soften your leeks in bacon fat. (I like them to get pretty soft.) When they are as soft as you like, add the cream (up to a 1/4 c. you don't have to use it all) and some of the broth. Is the water boiling?? Great, add the pasta, cook, drain and add it to the leeks.

Cook the apples in butter for 3 minutes, add the sugar, cook, add the calvados and the rest of the broth. Set aside. In the same pan add your pork chops, cook, and at the end add the apples to reheat them. Serve the pork chops in top of a bed of the pasta.

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