Coco Cooks has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds.

If not, please visit http://www.coco-cooks.com and update your bookmarks and RSS feed.

7.13.2008

Hazelnut Crusted Pork Chops and Nectarines , A Favorite Pudding.. It's Sunday Dinner!



I don't know if its summer or what, but my mind is slowing down on blog worthy entries. I am cooking, but just to eat and not to blog.Yesterday I started in the kitchen of the caterer. I arrived promptly at 8 am Saturday morning. It's a rented commercial kitchen up in a funky yet non gentrified area of Chicago. Anyway I waited and called as no one was in yet. The janitor said they should be there. When I was about to give up I called the head chef, who was not supposed to be there. I feared waking him up. But he answered and was en route. Seems Chef #2 was supposed to be there but was called away for a private cooking assignment in some glamorous Eastern European locale. The caterer has a contract for some private residences and businesses in Europe. How fun.Anyway my first task was washing and slicing a case of strawberries. Then making fruit infused sugar for drink rims,then washing and chopping a case of Romaine for salads, and finally slicing and baking dough for the signature canapes. All went swimmingly well until they started to cook to fast. I'm not used to all the commercial ovens and ranges and some were not crisp enough and some too crispy. Anyway another dough log was pulled out for more and they were cool with them. It's fascinating watching the detailed organization, lists and prep that go into off premise catering. All to be whisked away to assemble and finish on site.Tough but fun work. I barley looked at the clock and before I knew it it was over. 6 hours of mindless enjoyable tasks. I could have worked the event , but Certain Someone and I had dinner plans at the wonderful Korean BBQ place called Solga later that evening. The only unpleasant part is washing the dishes.That's an operation in itself. I cant wait to be called back again and actually go on site. I so love being back of house rather than front of house. The atmosphere is way more pleasant. Enough of that lets get home cooking.

So Sunday dinner is always a special for me. If we don't go out, I like to cook something .So whats new about that? But its a way to unwind and indulge before we go back to the grind. I created both dishes based on what I have on hand.
For the main course we had Hazelnut Crusted Pork Chops and Nectarines. Basically I used toasted hazelnut flour( which is just ground hazelnut not flour, so this can be gluten free) which was sitting the freezer .Pork goes so well with fruit, and I have a lot of fruit. This is rather simple. Dredge your chops in hazelnut flour, chopped fresh rosemary, salt and pepper . Spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray . Bake the chops in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until done. Turn once.In a separate sauce pan, add 4 tablespoons butter. Place halved fresh nectarines and 3 tablespoons sugar and cook down. We want to keep the fruit intact but turn occasionally to soften and cook through.The mixture should start to slightly bubble and caramelize.Add about 1 tablespoon of sherry and let mixture cook down some more. You should a nice syrup from the juices, sugar, butter and sherry. Serve atop the chops.

For dessert I made a pudding.Linda over at one of my favorite blogs Make Life Sweeter , has an event going on called Got Milk. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for Word Breastfeeding Week during the first week of August. I know nothing about breastfeeding,other than I was breast fed and it has tons of benefits for both baby and Mommy. If my day ever comes, that's the route I'm going. Anyway Linda is asking for recipe involving milk as the key ingredient. I wanted to experiment with fried milk, a Spanish treat, but the heat and laziness won. So I decided to use what I had on hand and create a Pistachio Tapioca Pudding. Certain Someone loves puddings, as do I. As I kid my favorite flavor was that instant pistachio pudding you get in a box. Now with more grown sophisticated tastes,I have created my own. I had leftover pistachio paste in the refrigerator.This was a store purchased variety.I also had some granulated tapioca in the pantry. The rest is history. How real and natural a real pistachio pudding looks without food coloring. The flavor has way more depth too.
Coco's Pistachio Tapioca Pudding
5 1/2 tablespoons of pistachio paste
3 cups of milk
1 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons granulated tapioca( fast cooking variety)
In a large bowl whisk eggs,almond extract,sugar, and pistachio paste. Heat the milk in a pot.Do not burn. Slowly add about 1/3 of the hot milk mixture to the egg/sugar mixture. Note, I used my stand mixer and added hot milk as the it was whisking the egg mixture. Add the egg mixture back to the reaming hot milk. Mix. Add tapioca. In a double boiler heat the mixture over med/high whisking constantly until thickened. It will take approximately 15 minutes for the tapioca for the tapioca to get clear and start thickening the mixture. When mixture coats the back of a spoon it its ready. Pour into serving dishes. Place a film of plastic on top. Let cool at room temp, than place in the refrigerator.
Well I know this was a long post, but I wanted to show the meal altogether. It wasn't too heavy at all. Certain Someone may have preferred his chops fried more Southern Style, But I was trying to keep it lighter and healthier for us.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

33 comments:

Peter M said...

Hazelnut flour eh? I'm diggin' that idea~ As for lazy summers, I'm getting it too!

Mary said...

Working in the catering kitchen sound like a pretty fun gig! And your dinner and pudding remind me of what Sunday dinner is supposed to be like. Special and delicious!

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

Hey Glamah, it was nice to read your experience in the catering kitchen..How I dream to be in a bakery kitchen and see how they whip up so many lovely things..Sigh!!
The pudding sounds delicious..Have never used pistachio paste and it makes it more interesting for me..

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great Sunday menu! I particularly love nectarines and tapioca! Yummy!

Cheers,

Rosa

Emiline said...

I've noticed I've slowed down the blogging since summer started. Maybe this happens to everyone? It's too nice to stay on a computer all day. I guess blogging picks up in the winter.

The pork chops and pudding look/sound so good! I love hazelnuts and pistachios.

And yeah, I'd rather work in the back, too!

joanne at frutto della passione said...

I completely understand the blogging slow down. Lately all I've been blogging about is popsicles and cocktails. Efforts in the kitchen have been limited to salads and slicing fruit. This week might get better, the forecasst calls for rain ;)!

Ben said...

I think we are all getting in the lazy summer mood. I am trying to keep my mind busy and that's why I've been doing a lot of blogging, otherwise I'd be spending my evenings laying in my back yard, lol

linda said...

Love the idea of crumb coating with hazelnuts, what a creative idea!
And the dessert, just yum! The pistachio paste makes it look so beautifully green.
Thanks for your entry to Got Milk!
I'll be doing a round-up after August 7th.

maybelles parents said...

oh, yes, I feel way lazy too. Except for Sunday dinner. That is our big meal night too. Last night we had a big one, homemade fettucini and roast chicken and blueberry pie. There is something so wonderful about starting a week having spent time with people and good food on sunday. As for this dessert, looks yum.

Dee said...

What a lovely blog you have :) I really must do something to make our Sunday night dinners just a wee bit more special. Yours sounded beautiful!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

These both look amazing. My mouth is literally watering for the pork chops and it's really not a pork chop time of day!

I'm so glad you had fun at the catering job, too!

giz said...

The job does sound like fun although being on my feet all day doesn't really appeal too much. I'll leave it to the youngins. Now that pork recipe - ooh la la and I love hazelnut flour as long as I'm not toasting and skinning the hazelnuts (what a job and a half that is). Beautiful dish.

Luxury Bedding said...

The Coco's Pistachio Tapioca Pudding sounds yummy. I have to try the recipe. Paula

Deborah said...

I always thought it would be fun (but hard) to work in catering. My sister's and I have done a few events for friends and family, and it's so much fun to pick menus and see it all pull together. But at the end of the day, you're exhausted!!

What a wonderful Sunday dinner. I haven't had a good Sunday dinner in much too long!

Heather said...

I am so with you on the "meh, cooking". I think we should declare International Give it a F**ing Rest, Already Week. But you know someone will always blog on vacation, or keep baking even though it's 100 degrees. Crazies. Once a week is enough for me, thankyouverymuch.

Ellieut said...

Wow. Yummy. Hey, I love the blogger links too btw, very cool idea and it is not in any way stealing someones content to publish as your own. People are crazy.

~~Louise~~ said...

Hi Glamah,

Sounds like you enjoyed your first day. I do hope you will keep us posted.

The hazelnut flour sounds quite interesting on the pork chops. I have coated various fish entrees using it but never pork chops. Gee, I just never thought of it.

I've never had home made pistachio pudding. It all sounds incredibly delicious especially for a Sunday dinner.

Laurie said...

Great post Courtney..It was wonderful hearing about the work in a busy commercial kitchen!
Pistachio pudding sounds wonderful..I love all things pistachio!

Núria said...

I also feel the same! We are having a break with the heat and it helps to get back to the kitchen but otherwise, the heat makes me lazy and of course takes me far away from the kitchen ;-). Love the hazelnut coating! I used it for some chicken legs Mmmmmm

jasmine said...

That pork chop looks delicious! Paired with the nectarine, it must be more than delicious.

j

Gigi said...

...uh that pork has me drooling. Oh how I wish I was done with school and living back in Chicago. I am more of baker than cook and I would love to see how you prepare your delicious food!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Courtney, Your pudding stopped me in my tracks, wow does that sound good!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

I love pork!!!Pork with hazelnuts....I would kill for that and then....tapioca pudding. What a meal!Why was I not invited?

Jeanne said...

Wow - your stint with the caterer sounds cool - slightly terrifying, but cool :)

I love the pork chops! I go through phases where I onyl make pork chops one way - for a while it was honey, soy & chilli baked in the oven; more recently it's pork chops braised in sherry with mushrooms & shallots. I sense a crusted phase coming on :) Also love the fruit & meat combo - a very South African habit!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

glad to hear things went so well with the caterers.

It's so hot I can't even think about turning on the stove. Once fall hits I know I will be cooking more.

Dhanggit said...

oh im so jealous!! this dishes are all to die for..yummy!!

Megan said...

That pork chop looks to die for!
And I love pistachio pudding! Nice dinner. :)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I love tapioca pudding! YUM!!!!
That pork with hazelnut and apricot looks pretty great too.

I hear what you are saying about commercial kitchens and catering. We did some parties when I worked at the cooking school at I was almost amazed at how many hours just fly by when you are dealing with that amount of raw materials. You should totally go on site next time - that is fun too - watching people enjoy the fruits of your labor on the GRAND scale!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

MMm...I love the idea of coating pork with crushed hazlenuts. It must add so much flavor and texture.

Luca and Sabrina said...

Our dear Courtney, we are excited for your visit and comment! So here we are, admiring your special Sunday Dinner.... we like pork with hazelnut and nectarines, it's a magic harmony! But most of all, we like tapioca and pistachio pudding! We have bought tapioca some days ago because we want to prepare a pudding this week end.... we could try with yours!
Hugs
Sabrina&Luca

Cakespy said...

Ohhhh my! What an absolutely perfect meal!! The pudding looks and sounds perfect. I haven't had pistachio pudding for the longest time, and the last time it was the green stuff you refer to. I think it's time to grow up a bit and try this one!

Darius T. Williams said...

I'm gonna have to try those chops...I'll probably do a nice dice on the fruit and turn the fruit into a sauce - or even add some maple smoked bacon to the mix and maybe even smother the chops in the sauce.

Uh oh...recipe time - lol!

Cynthia said...

yum! tapioca pudding and pistachio? love 'em both! what a great use of milk!