Rick’s Vietnamese Pork Chops

Pork chop

We had a great little Vietnamese Restaurant nearby and their pork chops were one of the best things on their menu. Sadly, for us, the family that ran the place retired and moved to Florida. I’ve found several recipes and this is my take. Serves four.

Ingredients

4 bone-in pork loin rib chops about an inch thick

½ of a small onion or the white part of a couple scallions, finely chopped

½ cup of Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce

4 TBS brown sugar

2 TBS rice vinegar

1 Tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 TBS peanut oil

Recipe

Add fish sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and pepper to a small bowl and whisk well to make the marinade.

Poke the chops through with a fork in several places, so they will take the marinade. Put the chops in a freezer bag, add the marinade and turn the chops to coat. You can leave them on the counter for at least a half hour (or overnight in the refrigerator.) Turn them over from time to time.

Add the oil to a well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Scrape off the marinade and put the remainder in a small pot and bring to a boil, and simmer to reduce. Wipe the chops with a paper towel.

Cook the chops until they are well browned, about four minutes to a side.  Serve with the marinade sauce, Jasmine rice, and lime wedges. An Asian beer would go nicely. Or a sturdy red wine.

Rick’s Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Honey Sauce

A pork tenderloin is an inexpensive, delicious dinner that can be put together in very little time. For this recipe you need a big pan that can start on the stovetop and be finished in the oven. I have a 14-inch well-seasoned cast-iron pan that does the trick. You’ll want your kitchen fan on high during the initial searing.

Ingredients

Pork tenderloins (they come two to a package)

2 TBS peanut oil

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

Kosher Salt

Black pepper

Paprika

Sauce

!/2 cup honey

1 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS Chinkiang Vinegar

1 TBS Chinese rice wine or Saki

2 Tsp Dark sesame oil

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside. Sprinkle the tenderloins with salt, pepper and paprika.

Set pan over burner on medium high heat until it is very hot. Put in the oil and when it starts to smoke sear the tenderloins all over, until they are nicely browned, about three minutes per side.

Turn off the burner and toss in the garlic and stir it in the hot pan for about 15 seconds (don’t burn it!) Give the sauce a final stir and add it to the pan, coating all sides of the pork.

With a couple good potholders carefully put the pan in the oven, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until internal temperature is 150 F. The tapered ends will be medium and the center will still be pink. Something for everyone! I would serve this with rice and apple sauce or chutney. Or baked beans.