I feeling kind of lazy today, I had full day yesterday meeting friends and feeding relatives, so today I’m taking a me day and devoting it to not a whole lot of anything…..lol
I had the great pleasure of meeting up with Julie from Mommie Cooks yesterday while she was visiting Philadelphia . We had one of those moments when you actually meet someone for the first time, the awkward first hello. While we knew each others online persona oh so well, here we were actually meeting for the first time, but it didn’t take long to get over that feeling. When your a foodie, your never at a loss for conversation, and at the end of our visit we parted as old friends. One thing for sure when your a foodie your never at a loss for conversation, and my wife was happy not to be the one having to listen today to my endless talk about food and blogging about food!
We enjoyed a walk through the Reading Terminal Market, and lunch next to the famous Terminal Pig, which her boys had a great time playing on!
If your ever in Philadelphia I highly recommend a trip to the Reading Terminal, you won’t be sorry, it is a foodie paradise, with foods from all over the world.
With the pig in mind I thought Pork Chops would be the perfect topic for today’s post. This time of year I grill as much as I can, and while we don’t eat a great deal of pork (and I don’t eat beef), we do enjoy an occasional chop or tenderloin. Grilling pork, especially boneless chops is always a difficult proposition, they get tough and dry so easily. I have brined poultry before with great results so I thought I would give it a try with pork chops. They turned out very flavorful and tender, but just a bit dry, I only had 2 hours to brine them and I think they would have benefited from at least 8 hours, if not over night.
There’s no real secret ingredient to brining other that salt and water, anything else you add in is mostly for flavor and color. Fresh herbs are always a wonderful addition, but sadly I had nothing on hand, so I settled for a sweet and spicy garlic brine, with maple syrup as the sweetener.
If you haven’t tried brining please do, you’ll surprise yourself!
Maple Brining Solution (for 6-8 pork chops)
6 cups Water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
12 cloves of Garlic crushed
1/2 cup Kosher Salt or Coarse Sea Salt
1 tsp Red Pepper flakes
2 sprigs of Fresh Rosemary (or herbs of your choice)
1. In a large pot, combine the water, salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, sugar, vinegar, garlic, mustard and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
2. Let the brine cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Add the pork chops to the brine and refrigerate for 7 to 8 hours, turning the chops after 4 hours. (don’t let them brine for more than 12 hours)
4. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry
5. Lightly coat the pork chops with Olive Oil and sprinkle a liberal amount of black pepper on them.
6. Sear the chops directly over the hottest part of the open grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Then move the chops to the medium area of the grill, cover the grill, and cook to the desired doneness.
7. Make sure to use an instant-read digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chops. A reading of 145° will give you a pink, moist chop (that temp was just approved by the federal government for pork) If you want them more well done, let them cook until 160° but no more.
Serve the chops immediately with your favorite sides and enjoy!
Ask Chef Dennis
it’s been a pretty slow week as far as questions go, but one topic that does consistently come up is about our dear friends at foodbuzz, so once again for all of the newbies out there, here is the article that started it all.
1. Personal Buzz. To get your personal buzz score higher, you need to post! That is post regularly and post as often as possible. Now here is where I believe it gets tricky, but I could be way off base. I think the system recognizes your blogging schedule to a point and it gets use to it (really quickly), so if you blog 2x a week, and then change to 3x a week, and then go back to 2x a week, I think your points start to drop off faster. At least it seems that way to me.
I believe your personal buzz is also based on the number of visits your Foodbuzz page gets, and of course if anyone buzzes you! So newbies, if you want a new friend, make sure you Buzz them when you make the friend request, now remember that works both ways!! Buzz the newbies, when they friend you!!
Now this is just pure speculation but I believe if you buzz others and others posts, it will also help your buzz score. Think about it, Sponsors pay on the number of hits that are received, so wouldn’t it make sense to reward those who took the time to go to other bloggers Foodbuzz page and buzz them, or check out their activity and buzz their posts, thus creating more hits?
So the first Golden Rule of Foodbuzz is: Buzz unto others as you would have them Buzz unto you!2. Post Buzz-How do I get my post buzz higher. That answer seems a little easier, In order for you post buzz to go up, others need to buzz it! Pretty simple, huh! Well not really, if your new and you don’t have a lot of friends not that many will get your share notice and go see your post. Does everyone know they have to share their post? So how do you fix that, you need to friend more bloggers, I would say you need at least 300 to get a good base! So get to work!! Now even if they all don’t buzz you ( vote for your post), I have to believe you get something for the traffic to your page. See there is the traffic part again, hits = $.