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Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce


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Pork

An aromatic, slightly piquant spice rub breathes new life into pork chops, but the sweet-sour cherry sauce is what makes this recipe a keeper.

The cherry sauce would be equally delicious served with lamb or duck. A bonus is that the sauce can be prepared while the chops cook, making for a quick weeknight meal.

The spice rub can be made ahead and stored at room temperature for up to 3 months. It’s also great rubbed on lamb or beef.

For the cherry sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/3 cup ruby port
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
For the pork chops:
  • 2 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork loin chops
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

For the cherry sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cherries, port, and vinegar and cook until the cherries begin to soften and the port has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. While the sauce reduces, start cooking the pork chops. When the sauce is finished, remove it from the heat and set it aside.

For the pork chops:

  1. Rinse the chops and pat them dry with paper towels. Place the salt, coriander, mustard, and pepper in a small bowl and mix until evenly combined. Rub all of the spice mixture all over the pork chops.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, oven-safe frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chops and cook, undisturbed, until the bottoms are golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  3. Flip the chops over and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the chops are golden brown on the second side and the temperature registers 145°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each chop, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Place the chops on warm plates and let them rest 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the reserved sauce over top and serve.

Want dessert? Check out these yummy crunchies.

Creative Inspiration

Baking Fruitburst Muffins


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Baking Muffins at The Starlit Path www.tamikadoubell.comHere is a great recipe from one of my favourite websites, BBC Good Food. I made “Fruitburst Muffins” which are low-fat muffins with cinnamon, honey, cranberries and blueberries.

  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 175ml fat free milk
  • 100ml clear honey
  • 140g fresh blueberries
  • 85g fresh cranberries
  • 140g seedless raisins
  • 140g dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 200C and lightly butter a 12-hole muffin tin. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then stir in the melted butter, milk & honey. Add to flour with the remaining ingredients. Combine quickly without overworking. Spoon mixture into the muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well-risen and pale golden on top. 

Baking Muffins at The Starlit Path www.tamikadoubell.com

I am very pleased with my successful muffins. One of them came out with what I call a ‘snout’! I have no idea why the mixture does this, it looks hilarious. I couldn’t resist snapping it off for a snack 🙂

Baking Muffins at The Starlit Path www.tamikadoubell.com

Creative Inspiration

Orange Muffins Are What’s Up!


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Orange

I have been going crazy for orange anything lately. Papaya, spiced orange hot chocolate, orange muffins, orange cakes!  If it has anything to do with orange, chances are I’ll be eating it. Why this sudden obsession? I have no idea. So what I decided to do was get to the recipe books and find the perfect orange muffin recipe.  The great thing about these is that they are only 322 cal each 😉 

Here it is, Enjoy! 

  • Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange, quartered and seeds removed (with peel)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 Celsius) ; spray a muffin tin (12) with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Put orange quarters in food processor (or blender) along with orange juice and process or blend until pureed.
  3. Add egg and butter to food processor and combine; pour into large bowl.
  4. Combine dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add all at once to orange mixture.
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes; remove from oven and let stand in tin for 5 minutes before removing muffins.

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My Life in Africa

March’s 3 New Things


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These are 3 things I would love to do this month in my down time: 

  1. See an arty film. Now I love mainstream films with all their glitzy movie stars and action-packed storylines. They usually leave you with a satisfied and uplifting feel when you leave (which is a good thing, right?) You can just mindlessly watch and you’ll enjoy them so much without having to think too hard. But every now and then, I really believe it’s a treat to go and see something you would otherwise never see. Just to broaden your mind and make you think. Art movies are usually much longer than ‘normal’ films and they very often carry with them deep and profound messages. Often they are based on true stories. They don’t always have a happy ending (in fact they almost never do) and they are totally dedicated to depicting life in its rawest form. Here in Cape Town, we have a great Cinema Nouveau at the waterfront. We also have loads of DVD shops and a DVD Nouveau right near where I live. I don’t care if I hire it out or go watch it, my first goal for March is to go see something which I would otherwise never consider watching. 
  2. Bake something! Even if it’s terrible. The last time I baked something was 2 years ago when I did a short cooking course at Silwood. I want to capture the Italian house wife in me again! I challenge myself to make a decent milk tart/scone/red velvet cupcake – I’ll figure it out!
  3. Look up interesting things to do in Lisbon. Since I’m going to Lisbon for a Rotary Convention in June, I figure it’s time I compile a really educational list of things to do while I’m there. I don’t want to wait until the last minute, I want to look up beautiful sights, foods, places and spaces I should make sure I see!

Working too hard has got me totally consumed these days. I’m neglecting the side of me that needs down-time … I’m hoping these can provide that for me. What about you? Do you have goals for March? Here are pictures of a course I recently did in cooking at Silwood School of Cookery

Silwood Cookery School (2)