Finally, Pork Chops in Orange Sauce

Finally, the recipe for pork chops with orange sauce will appear shortly (after testing) on the website http://1718neworleans.com

The above sentence was written on April 18th, but as we all know s—– happens. Now, a month later, I can finally get around to posting the recipe. When my hard drive crashed, I not only lost the recipe but also the pictures that were to accompany it. But, as Harry’s dad on the old “Night Court” TV show was so fond of saying, my computer and myself “feel muuuuch better now!” First the blog post and then (in few days) the illustrated recipe at http://1718neworleans.com. So, without further ado, here is ………… ta da……….

PORK CHOPS with ORANGE SAUCE :

Begin with Simple Syrup: dissolve 1 cup of sugar into 1 cup of boiling water, stir until it’s clear, remove from heat and cool.

For Orange Syrup:  Juice 2 Oranges. While the Simple Syrup is boiling, add the orange peels and pulp (reserve 2 tsp. of pulp) from the juicing. Boil for a few minutes. Remove the orange peel, you now have Orange Simple Syrup.

For Orange Savory Sauce:  Blend one cup of Orange Syrup with 2/3 cup of OJ and 2 tsp. of pulp. Over low heat, add 1 tbsp. of cornstarch or flour*, ¾ cup of chicken stock, 2 tbsp. of cider vinegar, salt to taste, and 1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper or 1/2 dried cayenne pepper. Heat through, stirring until everything dissolves, and set aside.

Flour (wheat or corn) is more authentic to the 18th Century.

Now cook the pork chops† as you always do, but this time add the Orange Sauce about halfway through the process.

Colonial Cooking Methods:

There are only so many ways to cook food. Boucaneer over smokey wood or charcoal, or an open flame, roast or bake the food in a hearth oven or Dutch oven, boil, braise, stew, or poach in hot water or some other liquid, smother (a variant of braise) in a small amount of liquid and lots of vegetables, like onions, peppers, etc., fry in small amount of fat or deep fry in a lot of fat, steam over boiling water. The main difference between our 18th Century Creole ancestors and our kitchens is the heat source. All of the above methods are just as doable whether you are using electric heat, gas burners, wood stoves, or open hearth. The skills are different though. For instance, after a lifetime of cooking on gas burners, I moved into homes with only electric stoves. It took several ( read many) attempts before I was able to cook bacon without burning it. The skill set had to be modified because of the ability to adjust the heat from direct fire to a slower adjustment of electric heat.

Now, what if you’ve never cooked pork chops? One usual method is to fry, braise, or smother in a frying pan on the range burner. Frying is quick, a regular pork chop takes about 4 minutes on each side, a thin cut or breakfast chop is about 2 minutes on each side. Smothering is lower, since you want the veges, usually onion or mushrooms, to get tender, perhaps even caramelize a bit, and make a bit of gravy. Another alternate is to bake the chops in the oven. If you choose this method, bake the chops in the Orange Sauce for about ½ hour at 350°. This recipe calls for the braising of the chops in the Orange Sauce. Cook the chops on one side, turn them, add the sauce, and let everything cook thoroughly. Figure about 3 minutes on high heat and then turn the heat to its lowest setting and let everything simmer for awhile, about 5 to 10 minutes. Check every few minutes so the dish does not burn.

Serve with Sweet Potato fries and a salad with French colonial dressing.


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Filed under 18th Century, Creole Cooking, Louisiana History, New Orleans Tercentennial, Non-Fiction, Recipes

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