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August 31, 2010

The Russian Pork Chop.

Pork chops come in all different styles: bone-in/boneless, smothered, stuffed, glazed, breaded, grilled, broiled, wrapped in God-knows-what, etc. This recipe is my mommy’s and is more or less the classic Russian pork chop recipe.

The uncomplicated flavor of these pork chops is where their beauty lies. Atop a heap of creamy mashed potatoes, they are one of my favorite comfort foods.


1 lb. boneless pork loin chops, at room temp.

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 egg

3 tbsp olive oil

Salt/coarsely ground black pepper

Pound the pork with a meat mallet until 1/3” thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Beat the egg with 1 tbsp of water and a pinch of salt in another shallow dish.

Heat the oil in a fry-pan on medium heat. Dredge chops first in flour, then in egg. Shake off any excess. Fry about 4 min on each side, until golden. Serve immediately.

August 30, 2010

Eggplant and Chick Pea Sauté

This dish is one of those happy accidents, when you throw a bunch of stuff into a pan and hope for the best. All the flavors and textures that ended up in the pan this time complement each other so well. It turned out to be a healthy, yummy, vegetarian dish.


2 tbsp olive oil

1 large eggplant

Sea salt

1 yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves (divided,) minced

1 large can (about 2 c) chick peas, drained, rinsed

1 tsp lemon zest

Handful of fresh herbs, chopped*

Freshly-ground black pepper

*Parsley, dill, basil and/or cilantro.

Partially peel the eggplant (I like the texture. Peel entirely if desired.) and cut into ¾” cubes. Toss with a generous amount of sea salt and let stand for 15 min (to draw out the bitterness.) Then rinse and drain.

Heat the oil on medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the onion and 2/3 of the garlic. Sauté 3 min and add eggplant. Season with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper, stir and partially cover with lid. Sauté for 10-12 min until softened and browned, stirring frequently. Add chick peas and sauté for 2 more min. Add zest, herbs and the remaining garlic. Stir. Re-season if necessary. Enjoy.

August 23, 2010

New Toy.

I’ve been wanting to buy an immersion blender for my kitchen since I first made discovery of its existence, and upon my return from Europe, my mother bought me one. I guess she missed me ; )

To Christen it, I decided to make this Pureed Vegetable Soup.

(Yield: 6-8 servings)


3 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

2 carrots, peeled, diced

1 zucchini, peeled, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1 tomato, diced

¾ tsp dried basil

1 tsp corn starch

4 c beef broth

1 large potato, peeled, cubed

1 pinch yellow curry powder

2 tbsp minced parsley


Heat oil in large soup pot on low heat. Add onion, season with pinch of sugar and salt, and sauté for 10 min, stirring frequently. Add carrots and cook 2 min. Add zucchini and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, raise the heat to medium and cook for 10 min. Then, add tomato and basil, and cook 2 min. Stir in corn starch until fully incorporated. Add beef broth to pot, raise heat to high, cover with lid, and bring to a boil. Once rolling boil is achieved, add potato, lower heat to simmer and cook for 30 min, stirring occasionally.

Turn heat off. Add parsley and curry. Re-season if necessary. Immerse hand blender into pot and puree until desired consistency is reached. *Add cream or butter for extra luxury.