The Cooking Channel is at the same time, both a beautiful and destructive thing.
The shows are unique, the food gorgeous, and the chefs inspiring… HOWEVER, that channel makes me so remarkably hungry and greedy. The desire to eat and/or make whatever is on the screen at that particular moment trumps any remnants of willpower I have left and I often find myself in a sudden feverish sprint to the kitchen.
Case in point, my pork chops and pineapple upside down cake night.
I was innocently channel surfing one afternoon, when I came upon a vivid HD image of a moist yellow pineapple upside down cake on ‘Throwdown with Bobby Flay’. I knew I had to find a recipe and make it right away. HAD. TO.
I chose Tyler Florence’s recipe because it was a perfect version of the classic (maraschino cherry topped and all), and I always trust Tyler’s recipes. That man is so passionate, and he really knows how to cook. I often imagine him as a sort-of mad scientist type, pulling at his hair excitedly, eyes darting around wildly, as he’s flying across the kitchen throwing all sorts of unlikely ingredients into a pot and creating his masterpiece.
So I was definitely making pineapple upside down cake, end of story. THEN I saw a show about pork chops. Juicy, tender, pork chops. Sold. I had to have them for dinner. HAD. TO.
Don’t judge, calories don’t count on Saturday’s anyway.
Smothered Pork Chops
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence
I added this brining portion on my own, and I’m pretty proud of it I must say:
Dissolve 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup sugar in 3 cups warm water in a large bowl. Soak the chops in the brine, about 30 minutes.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.
Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
Now onto dessert!
Can I just say, there’s not much better than enjoying black coffee, a warm buttery cake and ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ after a long week.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Recipe from Tyler Florence
- 1 fresh pineapple
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 6 to 8 maraschino cherries
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting cake
- 1 quart yogurt gelato, store-bought, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel the pineapple and remove core. Slice into (1-inch) thick circles.
In a small saucepan melt butter with 1 tablespoon of water and add light brown sugar. Stir well with a whisk over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and you have a nice smooth caramel, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour into a round 9 1/2-inch nonstick cake pan. Arrange pineapple circles evenly in the caramel, (1 in the center and 5 around the outside usually works), and press down so they are submerged in the caramel. Place 1 maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
Make the batter: Sift flour and baking powder together. In a stand mixer cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. With mixer on low, add eggs 1 at a time. Add half the buttermilk and vanilla then half the flour. Add remaining buttermilk and then remaining flour. Pour the batter into the cake pan over the caramel and pineapple. Spread out evenly with a rubber spatula.
Place the cake pan on a roasting tray to catch any caramel that may bubble over and bake in the oven for approx 1 hour. The cake should be nice and golden on top and puffed up slightly. When gently pressed in the center it should bounce back. Allow to cool slightly, (about 1 minute), before inverting onto a cake plate. Dust very lightly with confectioners’ sugar and serve each slice with a scoop of yogurt gelato.
Now before I show you the final product, I must admit to you that I made a mistake… Unfortunately, through lack of foresight, I used a spring form pan for this recipe. BIG problem, because most of the gorgeous brown sugar and butter caramelized topping that would have ended up as a beautiful crust on the cake, remained on the cookie sheet and baked into a bitter black sheet of sugar. What a pity 😦
The taste was still amazing though!