Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mid-Week Round-Up

Maple-Mustard BBQ Pork Chops

  1. Time- Not too too bad. From start to finish, this recipe took about 45 minutes. I'm sure if I didn't have to keep going over to the computer to look at what was next, it would have gone much more quickly. No one thing took a while, there were just a lot of little things to be done: combine all the sauce ingredients, grill the pork on both sides, continuously baste the pork, bake the meat in the oven, slice the apples, coat them in oil and grill them (in two batches)...

  1. Mess- Measuring cups, mixing bowl, cutting board- it wasn't a really horrific clean up. The recipe moves quickly though, so cleaning as you go is not an option. I didn't even get to put away the ingredients I had used until dinner was finished. The meat didn't splatter during cooking, yet the counters needed to be disinfected several times because I was working with raw pork. Additionally, the grill pan needed to soak overnight to get all the crud off.

  1. Moolah- I had to purchase maple syrup (I think most people would probably have this, though), apple cider, allspice, an onion, and the apples, so overall the cost was pretty minimal. Other than the apple cider and the produce, these are all things that can keep for a while and will be used again.

  1. Nutrition Information- Calories 400, Protein 40 grams, Fat 13 grams, Sodium 720 milligrams, Cholesterol 105 milligrams, Saturated Fat 3 grams, Carbohydrates 25 grams. Pork is well-recognized as a leaner meat, so it's no surprise that this recipe turns out a mere 13 grams of fat per serving. I would presume that the majority of the calories in this dish are provided by the maple syrup, which is high in sugar.

  1. Taste- I found the pork to be very dry. Maybe if it were seared on the grill for less time and baked for longer it would be better? I'm not sure...

    The sauce, however, was delicious, as were the grilled apples. The sugars really came out of the fruit on the grill and they caramelized very nicely. It made me think that pizza with grilled apples, onions, and feta would be really good. I'll let you know when I try it!

Oven-Baked “Fried” Chicken

  1. Tick-Tock: So quick, it's ridiculous. It takes about 5-10 minutes to put it all together (once you get the hang of it) and then it bakes in the oven for 30 minutes (during which time you can prepare a side dish, a salad, and make yourself a cocktail).

  1. Mess: Not bad. A couple bowls from dredging the chicken and the wire rack has to be cleaned. The baking sheet is lined with tinfoil, so it doesn't even get soiled. Again, you are working with raw chicken so the countertops (and your hands) need to be washed constantly.

  1. Cost: $0. Lucky for me I didn't have to purchase anything for this. Be sure to have pre-grated Parmesan cheese, lest ye be grating your “good” stuff for an hour. Not worth it. Also, it's an excellent idea to have Panko on hand to replace regular Italian bread crumbs in recipes. They are lighter and yummier (in my opinion). I find them in the Asian section of the international aisle of my supermarket.

  1. Nutrition- This dish is super-low in fat and calories, so you can enjoy a nice big ice cream sundae after!

  1. Taste-It's easy to make, it's cheap, and it's delicious! Do not skip steps here, though- they make a difference.

      a) Pound the chicken with a mallet (or a frying pan- something heavy) between two sheets of wax paper or in a plastic bag (that's partially opened to mollify the balloon-popping effect). Get it nice and thin for a more tender consistency (about ¼ inches).
      b) Put a cookie-cooling rack (which usually comes with your oven) on top of a baking sheet, and put the chicken on the cooling rack to bake. This makes the chicken delicious and crispy all the way around!

Bon appetite!


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