22 August 2007

Pregnant Lady’s Still Gotta Get Her Booze On

Well if I can’t drink anymore, I’m going to have to supplement my daily alcoholic beverage(s) with something just as delicious…

Hmmmmm….after much thought, I still have not discovered an adequate replacement for the libations that once brought so much joy into my life. I guess my only option is to add alcohol to my cooking instead of consuming it in liquid form.

This grilled pork with apricot-brandy glaze (recipe below) does just the trick. The small amount of hooch in the glaze is still enough to keep hair on my chest, but not enough to cause the little Nugget to be born with the IQ of a toad.

For those like me who are also suffering from an insufficient alcoholic intake, may I suggest some additional substitutions:
Beer can chicken (beer turns into steam; steam keeps chicken moist while grilling)
Tiramisu (just a wee bit of rum in the syrup!)
Beer sponge baths (no explanation needed)

By the way, I apologize for the long break in Fancy Toast posts. I soon hope to be posting more regularly! The constant nausea of the first trimester has passed, and I can finally look at photographs of food and be hungry instead of queasy. Now when I want to feel queasy I just look at photographs of myself in seventh grade when my perm was halfway growed-out and the top half of my hair was straight and the bottom half of my hair was a holy mess of floppy squiggles.

Pork Chops with Apricot-Brandy Glaze
~ adapted from Grilling by Chuck Williams and Denis Kelly

This is my standby grilled pork recipe. Delicious. Never fails to yield juicy, slightly spicy pork chops with the perfect amount of sweetness from the caramelized glaze.

8 pork chops, at least 1-inch thick (I prefer bone-in for the juiciness)

Spice Rub:
1 tablespoon sweet paprika (I used a combination of sweet and smoked)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the apricot-brandy glaze:
½ cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons brandy or apricot brandy
1 tablespoon dry mustard
juice of 1 lemon

Mix all ingredients of spice rub together in a bowl.
Rub generously on both sides of each pork chop.

To make the glaze, heat the jam in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the brandy, mustard, and lemon juice. Remove from heat and set aside. When ready to use, reheat while whisking contantly.

Grill the pork chops over medium-high heat, turning once, about 3-4 minutes per side. Move the chops to an unheated part of the grill and brush the glaze onto both sides. Cover the grill and cook for 2-4 minutes. Pork chops should be just faintly pink inside. Try your hardest not to overcook them, as they become dry in just a few too many seconds over the coals. (My husband never grills without his trusty digital thermometer. He lets the pork chops come to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and then he lets them rest for a few minutes under tin foil.)