We just got back from a quick weekend escape in Tagaytay and straight back into the waiting arms of work, school, and this busy city we live in. Every vacation is too short, much less one that is overnight, but it’s surprising how even a short jaunt, not too far afield, can clear the cobwebs and recharge you for the week ahead. I’ll be sharing more about our little Tagaytay family excursion soon so stay tuned for that!
Meanwhile, back in the busy-busy city.
I have always espoused home cooking, spending time in the kitchen, learning to create your own sustenance, feeding your family homemade rather than store-bought. But in no way does that mean that I am in my kitchen day in and day out, churning all sorts of goodies for family and friends. Nor does it mean that I don’t use store-bought or ready-made ingredients at all. And goodness, it certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t get on the phone with Yellow Cab once in a while either (my daughter is a huge fan of their buffalo wings…don’t judge). This is real life. My real life, at least. I have a full time job (and a boss that goes with it). Two kids to raise (together with my awesome team mate and life partner thankfully!). A household to run. And everything else that just seems to sneak up on you in between.
I think you do too. Or most of you at least. I mean, I am sure there some of you that magically keep all the balls in the air without breaking a sweat, and if you are one of those gifted ones, I salute you.
But I am not…I do not keep all balls in the air, all of the time. I do pick up that phone and bid Yellow Cab to get those chicken wings over here stat. I do use store-bought products and shortcut ingredients sometimes, to help me get dinner on the table when I am pressed for time. I do not cook every day. There are days when I am too tired, stuck in meetings or conference calls, have reports that need finishing, or am just too lazy (yes, we all have days like that!).
We work with what we have. And that’s ok! I try to give my family the best…the best in life and the best of myself, all this taking into account what it is I actually have to give. I would rather concede to calling for take-out than pushing myself within an inch of my sanity to get a homemade meal on the table, only to be grumpy all throughout it. I would rather take a shortcut here and there if it means more time for hugs and snuggles, more time for stories and games.
And speaking of shortcuts…pull up a chair because this is a good one.
Roasted Garlic Jam Glazed Pork Cutlets
(a variation of one of my own recipes right here!)
- 3 large pork chops (we get King Henry cutlets which are about 300 grams and approximately an inch each)
- Zin Rosemary & Lemon salt
- Zin Triple Pepper Blend
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for pan frying
- 4-5 tablespoons Whisk Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Jam
- 2 red apples, sliced into wedges (no need to peel)
- 5-6 small red onions, peeled and sliced into wedges
– Score the fat on your cutlets or chops in a crosshatch pattern. It doesn’t have to be super uniform, mine never are (although if you are skilled crosshatcher knock yourself out!).
– Coat your cutlets or chops all over with a very generous crackings of the Rosemary & Lemon salt and the Triple Pepper Blend. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and then rub all over. You can crack some more of the salt and pepper blends if you feel it needs it. I usually do a few more sprinklings after for luck!
– Bring a large skillet to high heat. When the skillet is hot, add a few glugs of oil and swirl around the pan. You want the pan to be coated in a thin layer of oil. When the oil is hot add the chops to the pan in one layer. Do not overcrowd the pan, as you want to get a good sear on your chops. Do this in batches if need be.
– Sear the chops on both sides, just until golden brown. You aren’t cooking them fully yet. Then sear the fat side well. You want the fat bronzed with crispy edges.
– Transfer chops to a plate and brush very generously all over with the Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Jam. Make sure to get the jam in between the crosshatch pattern of the fat and in between the gaps between the fat and the meat.
– Line a baking pan or baking sheet with the onions and apples. Place your seared and glazed chops atop the apple and onion. Place in a 375F pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your chops (please see below for regular pork chop method). Sometime in the middle of this I like to baste the chops and onions/apples with the leftover glaze or any that has accumulated on the bottom of the pan.
– Serve immediately.
When the folks over at Whisk contacted me about trying their products I immediately said yes because, unbeknownst to them, I already like their products! I hadn’t tried their whole line though, just their salad dressings and some of their salts. I was immediately drawn to their Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Jam because, well, I love roasted garlic, and I love sweet in my savories. After my first taste I immediately knew I wanted to cook with it…something pork, or chicken, and something roasted. I had a big pork cutlet in the freezer and this dish was born.
I originally made this with only one pork cutlet, for my children on an evening when C and I had dinner plans outside. I took a bite before heading out and knew I was going to cook it again for the whole family…and I knew I had to share it with you.
This is such an easy dish to make…criminally easy, hardly any effort at all. Rub, sear, and then finish off the cooking in the oven, and you have a delicious dinner on your table. All thanks to some flavor-packed, shortcut ingredients. Their jam tastes of some wonderful garlic and herb infused sweet/sour/savory sauce. I can imagine using the same treatment as with these chops on, say, chicken thighs baked in the oven.
You can make this with regular pork chops and if you do you won’t need to cook them in the oven. If using regular chops I would sear them for 30 seconds per side, then sear the fat, then smear them all over with the roasted garlic jam and return to the pan just to finish cooking. It’ll be much quicker!
Although a I’ve taken a shortcut here, Whisk’s products are home made themselves, without any chemical preservatives or artificial ingredients, so I consider them just a step away from making it myself! It is certainly a relief to us weary souls just happy to have some help in the kitchen, to have the bonus of this help being all-natural. Whisk actually started with exactly that in mind…to provide better alternatives to commercial products that they could serve to their families. And now we can all benefit from their conscientiousness!
We do the best with what we have. And at the end of the day, if I know I have patched together the best for my family using whatever I have been dealt, whilst maintaining my sanity, and am still able to hug my loved ones and laugh at life’s little curveballs, then I think, in the grand scheme of things, I am doing fine (and you are too!).