My husband has only a couple of hobbies, but my oh my, he did choose them well. What I mean to say, is that HIS hobbies benefits ME directly. It’s a selfish way to look at things, but he could have chosen silly things like NASCAR, model rocket building or golfing — none of which have any side perks that funnel towards my way.
My freezer has been bare of wild hog for the past couple of years – Scott and his friend, Shawn, lost their usual location where they were shooting the hogs. But recently, they scored another.
Sidenote #1: I technically can’t say “hunting” since the guys really aren’t perched up in some tree waiting for a random hog to appear – but rather they bait the hogs with an automatic feeder and infrared camera. Then they hide in the bushes and shoot. Quite easy targets.)
Sidenote #2: Shooting the wild hogs are a good thing. They are everywhere, destroying property and reproducing at a crazy rate second only to horny rabbits in a cage. They’re an environmental hazard, since they aren’t native to Florida and seem to destroy everything. They’re like hungry bulldozers.
Surprisingly, the meat is not gamey. It’s the best meat in the world. No chemicals, no antibiotics, all natural, organic, free-roaming….damn good pork.
With my friend, Ray Lampe’s new book, Pork Chop: 60 Recipes for Living High on the Hog, we’ve been having fun playing with porky recipes.
Ray lives close by, and I’m lucky enough to see him a couple of times a year. He’s quite possibly the most entertaining friend I have. For some odd reason, women are attracted to men who cook, especially BBQ. And somehow, Ray is always in the middle of it all.
Ray’s book features creative recipes, all celebrating the pork chop:
Pork Chop Noodle Soup (homemade pork stock, pasta, thyme, basil)
Pork Chop Carnitas (garlic, jalapeño, lime, orange)
Broiled Pork Chop with Pineapple Chutney
Buffalo Hot Chop Sandwiches (blue cheese, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, buns)
Arroz con Peurco Chops (saffron, bell pepper, garlic, onion, rice)
Pork Chops Saltimbocca (prosciutto, sage, white wine)
Ray’s original recipe for the dish I’ve cooked is Thai Pork Chops in Banana Leaves – I’ve modified the recipe to be sans banana leaves, since it can be difficult to find fresh banana leaves at the market. I’ve also added more vegetables to make it a complete meal once served over rice. Such wonderful flavors! If you love Thai food, this is a super easy recipe to make. It’s not spicy (though you can add more chili sauce if you’d like!)
Buy Ray’s book: Pork Chop: 60 Recipes for Living High On the Hog
Thai Pork Chops in Ginger Coconut Sauce Recipe Video
Thai Pork Chops with Ginger Coconut Sauce
Adapted from Pork Chop: 60 Recipes for Living High on the Hog by Ray Lampe. I've used my homemade 20-minute Sriracha sauce (http://www.steamykitchen.com/31539-20-minute-sriracha-sauce-recipe-video.html)
Ingredients:4 pork chops, about 3/4 inch thick
salt and pepper
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1. Season both sides of each pork chop with salt and pepper.
2. Prepare the sauce: In a large bowl, whisk the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, chili sauce and sugar until it is smooth and creamy.
3. In a large sauté pan over high heat, add cooking oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the pan is very hot, add the pork chops and sear both sides, about 2 minutes each side. Remove the pork chops when they are about halfway cooked through and set aside.
4. Add the remaining of the cooking oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add onions, pepper and tomatoes and saute for about a minute. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, until the ingredients become fragrant. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the pan and stir all to combine. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat to medium.
5. Nestle the half-cooked pork chops into the sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the pork chops are cooked just a shade of blush pink in the center and the sauce has thickened. Serve immediately, spooning sauce and vegetables over the pork chops.