Monday, April 5, 2010

From Napa with Love

I just returned from the most splendid trip to Napa Valley and wanted to share my favorite dish from the weekend:
The Mongolian Pork Chop from Mustard's Grill 
(served with mashed potatoes and sweet and sour red cabbage topped with a honey mustard sauce)

 This is truly the most succulent pork chop I have ever tasted and I can't wait to have it at home! 

Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Serves: 6 .
* Note: The prep time does not include the three-hour to overnight marinate time.
six 10-oz. center-cut double pork chops

Mongolian Marinade Ingredients:
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbs. sugar
1-1/2 Tbs.tamari soy sauce
1-1/2 Tbs.sherry vinegar
1-1/2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 scallion, white and 2/3 of the green parts, minced
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1-1/2 tsp. Lee Kum Kee black bean chili sauce
1-1/2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 Tbs. minced garlic
3/4 tsp.freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, minced
1 Tbs. sesame oil

Trim the excess meat and fat away from the ends of the chop bones, leaving them exposed. Put the pork chops in a clean plastic bag and lightly sprinkle with water to prevent the meat from tearing when pounded. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, pound the meat down to an even one-inch thickness, being careful not to hit the bones. Alternatively, have your butcher cut thinner chops and serve two per serving. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Coat the pork chops liberally with the marinade and marinate for three hours and up to overnight in the refrigerator. Prepare mustard sauce (recipe below). Place the chops on the grill and grill for five minutes on each side, rotating them a quarter turn after two to three minutes on each side to produce nice crosshatch marks. It's good to baste with some of the marinade as the meat cooks. As with all marinated meats, you want to go longer and slower on the grill vs. shorter and hotter, because if the marinated meat is charred, it may turn bitter. The pork is ready when it registers 139 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Offer the mustard sauce on the side for dipping.

Per serving: 449 cal.; 40 g pro.; 11 g carb.; 26 g fat (9 sat., 11 monounsat., 3 polyunsat., 3 other); 126 mg chol.; 591 mg sod.; 0 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 54 percent calories from fat.

Chinese-Style Mustard Sauce
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes about 2 cups In addition to grilled meats, this sauce is good for dipping with chicken wings. It's also popular on hamburgers and hot dogs.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Colman's mustard powder
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

Put the sugar and mustard in the top of a double boiler and mix with a whisk. When well combined, whisk in the egg yolks and vinegar. Cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is thick enough to form ribbons when drizzled from the spoon. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. When cool, fold in the creme fraiche. Keep refrigerated until needed.

Other restaurants that we loved: Press & Bouchon

Wineries to check out: Duckhorn, Joseph Phelps, Hall, Del Dotto, & Robert Mondavi

There I am, happy as a clam in Napa...

And trying to learn about wine at Duckhorn:

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