Monday, July 11, 2011

Lemongrass Adventure!

In my little balcony garden I've been growing some lemongrass and have been hankering to give it a try. I found this Thai inspired pork dish that would be an adventure because I had never cooked with lemongrass or fish sauce before. I'm not sure I had enough lemongrass to properly flavor this dish as my stalks are still rather skinny. It did smell wonderful while I was preparing it! You peel off the outer layers, then crush the stalk with a flat edge of a blade (to help release the flavor), and then chop it up. The fish sauce is slightly fishy (obviously) and salty, not unlike clam juice. Between the fish sauce, tamari/soy, and sesame oil the dish was a little salty but not in a bad way. It definitely had that Thai flavor to it. The more I ate the more the dish grew on me. It had a unique flavor of salty and sweet/sour lime. I plan on investigating Thai cuisine further!
I did marinate the chops over night and that was the best decision ever. These were the moistest, most tender pork chops I have ever made. The recipe got big points there!
Lemongrass Pork Chops 
(from the Domestic Man Blog)

2 large, thick cut pork chops (bone-in, center cut preferred)

3 stalks of lemongrass, chopped (1/2 cup if using pre-chopped lemongrass)

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp each water and fish sauce

1 tsp each sesame oil, black pepper, sea salt, tamari (or dark soy) and potato starch (omitted)
1/2 cup chicken broth
juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp coconut oil (I used olive oil with a dash of coconut extract)
1. In a food processor puree 2/3 of the lemongrass, 4 of the garlic cloves, the water, fish sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, salt and 1/2 the lime juice. Pour the mixture into a ziploc bag with the pork chops, and marinate for 2-4 hours (or overnight).
2. Remove the pork chops from the bag and pat dry with a paper towel. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and put a heavy duty baking pan inside the oven to heat it up. Heat up the coconut oil in a different pan on the stovetop on high heat.
3. Sear the pork chops for three minutes on each side as the oven is heating up. Don’t discard the pan when you’re done with it!
4. Place the pork chops on the baking pan in the oven and cook for six minutes. Flip the pork chops and cook for another six minutes. Immediately transfer them to a plate and cover them with tin foil, letting it rest for at least five minutes.
5. Return the pan you used to sear the pork chops to the stovetop, and turn the heat to med/high. Add the remaining 1/3 of the lemongrass and 2 garlic cloves and saute for about 30 seconds, then add the chicken broth, tamari and the rest of the lime juice, scraping up any pork bits that were stuck to the bottom of the pan. As that simmers for a few minutes, add a little water to the potato starch to create a milky liquid. Add this liquid to the pan, stirring constantly, and remove from the heat once it gets to your desired thickness. 

1 comment:

  1. As you know, I have a lemongrass plant and it's growing beautifully.
    But I haven't ventured any use of it. Now I have something to try.
    Looks really good!