Thursday, May 19, 2011

Potato Salad and Braised Pork Chop

This is not a meal that you can whip in half an hour, more like 2 hours of almost non-stop peeling, cutting, chopping and cooking. However, the salad can be made days in advance and kept refrigerated. Sometimes I even break the salad preparation into two days, after all Czech version Potato Salad has quite a few ingredients that have to be peeled, chopped and cooked separately. What I found out by trial and error is that all vegetables can be steamed in microwave oven to save time. All you need is shallow microwave proof dish. It is almost impossible to give detailed recipe since every micro has different power output and every dish absorbs energy at different level. You just have to experiment. What I did was cut all veggies into uniform cubes and when I steamed them I under-cooked them since they will keep cooking after they are removed from the oven. Just spread them on a cooking sheet, one batch after another, and season them when still warm.
As for the pork chop, we went to Springwater Packers, our local butcher, and I was lucky to get whole butt from traditionally raised Amish farm pork. It was walking day before, now that’s fresh and local! I had butcher to cut me chops about 1-1/2” thick, something that you will never see in supermarket. It took about hour and half to braise and was it ever good! I let the chops to cool a bit and then sliced across the grain about 1/8” thin.
This salad is definitely worth the time and effort.


Anonymous said...

Since we've discovered microwave proof dishes, we've mostly been cooking our vegies in the microwave. A few trials and errors though at first. Facing a new vegetable, we start low and cook by increments.

Jerry said...

This is exactly how I started, trial and error. Asparagus, carrots and diced potatoes are always cooked in microwave in my kitchen. I even cook whole baking potato but it is a bit tricky since I have discovered that potato has to rest on a ring made out of paper towel so there is no contact with hard surface. With my oven I cook on high for 3 minutes and 3 times, turning potato over 1/3 each time. Time given is for 2 medium baking potatoes.
Oh, and I don’t pierce with fork or anything.