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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.

Blog, New York, USA

Union Square Greenmarket


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20130720_113841 I discovered a gorgeous organic food market at Union Square this weekend… what a feast for the eyes! However, be prepared to fork out a bit… a single chocolate croissant will knock you back $3.50. For my South African readers, that’s R34,5O! And an average apple pie will be anywhere between $10 and $15 … that’s roughly between R100 and R150!

(more…)

Blog, My Life in Africa, New York

Six things I’d love to do in New York


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new_york_skyline-wideIn just over a month I’m off to New York to study “Acting for Film” + “Film Production” at the New York Film Academy. They have schools all over the world including in Los Angeles, Paris, Florence, Harvard University, Beijing, Japan, Abu Dhabi, India and Australia. I chose New York because I’ve never been and let’s face it, it’s arguably the capital of the world. I’m very excited for the months I will be there! Aside from the actual course, I’m excited for the incredible guest speakers they get at the school (Kevin Spacey, Ben Kingsley, Steven Spielberg, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Billy Zane and many more). I’ve put together a list of six things I want to make sure I experience while I’m there – I get that it’s a huge city, but these are things that stand out to me. I recently did a similar article for my Madrid trip in June (see the article here). What’s great is, I celebrate my 25th birthday the day after I land in the U.S, so I would love to do something really special to celebrate (throw any ideas at me if you have!)

1. A horse & carriage ride through Central Park. I can’t think of a better way to gently introduce myself to this city. let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to go back in time for a bit? The standard carriage ride costs $50.  It can be located on Central Park South between 5th and 6th avenues. 

2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love art and I think I’ll absolutely love this famous museum. I’m particularly interested in the museum’s collection of ancient Egyptian art!

3. A stroll through the West Village in Manhattan. I saw an article on it by Time Magazine hereWhat appeals to me about this are the cobblestone streets which have remained unchanged since the 19th century. The Magnolia Bakery sounds amazing with their signature cupcakes. I understand their cupcake of the month this month is the “hummingbird” – banana, pineapple and pecan cake with sweet cream cheese icing topped with toasted pecans. Yum.

4. The Metropolitan Opera House. It’s located on Broadway at Lincoln Square in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It’s part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and it opened in 1966. The night of my birthday they are staging “The Sleeping Beauty” at 7:30pm.

5. Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. What can I say, I love comedy! I hear this is a great club.

6. Film Forum. From my understanding this is a very popular independent movie house. I can imagine the films shown here are very interesting. As a film graduate, I will definitely appreciate what I would otherwise never get to see! I like the look of the original “Cleopatra” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Another one that caught my eye was “Rosemary’s Baby” starring Mia Farrow.

How about you? Do you have any suggestions for me for when i’m in New York?

new_york_time_square_by_hairjay

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)