The Epicurean Man has been complaining lately, that he notices I have been ordering take out for dinner and on the weekends a bit more than normal. Truth be told I really do not like to cook day to day food for dinners, or even on the weekends. Unless it is for entertaining. If I do cook, it is always the same dishes over and over… eggplant parmesan, spaghetti and meat sauce, stew chicken and macaroni pie. My cousins on the other hand are all great cooks, I am always reading about all the fabulous meals they prepare on a daily basis.
Kirstin who is a contributor on my Blog http://cookbookamonth.wordpress.com/ is a wealth of knowledge of gourmet dishes. I have completely forgotten who gave me my first Nigella Lawson book… Nigella Express. Latoya or Kirstin?… either way it is the perfect start for me to try out quick but delicious meals. This weekend I decided to prepare for my two guys a delicious dinner and dessert from Nigella Express. I was a bit nervous about baking my very first Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, but it was actually quite easy, The Epicurean Man did have to help flip it over, it looked just like the photo in the cook-book. We were all impressed with my Mustard Pork Chops, delicious gnocchi, a side of greens and a bottle of Spanish wine, completed the perfect Saturday night dinner. A slice of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with whipped cream was simply yummy. Here are the recipes and photographs. Enjoy !!!
Mustard Pork Chops
2 pork chops, about 1-pound total weight
2 teaspoons infused oil
1/2 cup hard cider
1 tablespoon grain mustard
1/3 cup heavy cream
1.Cut the fat or rind off the chops, and then bash them briefly but brutally with a rolling pin between 2 pieces of cling film/plastic wrap to make them thinner.
2.Heat the oil in a pan, and then cook the chops over a moderately-high heat for about 5 minutes a side. Remove them to a warmed plate.
3.Pour the cider into the pan, still over the heat, to deglaze the pan. Let it bubble away for a minute or so then add the mustard and stir in the cream.
4.Let the sauce continue cooking for a few minutes before pouring over each plated pork chop. If you’re having gnocchi with, make sure you turn them in the pan to absorb any spare juices before adding them to your plates.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Butter for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons sugar
6 slices canned pineapple rings
1/3 cup candied cherries
2/3 cup flour
½ cup (1 stick) soft butter
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons pineapple juice from the can of pineapple slices
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a tarte tatin tin that is 9 inches wide at the top and 8 inches in diameter at the bottom. Or butter a cast-iron skillet or an 8- or 9-inch non-springform cake pan.
Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar over the buttered base, and then arrange the pineapple slices to make a circular pattern as in the picture.
Fill each pineapple ring with a candied cherry, and then dot one in each of the spaces in between the rings.
Put the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and baking soda into a food processor and run the motor until the batter is smooth. Then pour in the 3 tablespoons of juice to thin it a little.
Pour this mixture carefully over the cherry-studded pineapple rings; it will only just cover it, so spread it out gently.
Bake for 30 minutes, then ease a spatula around the edge of the pan, place a plate on top, and with one deft — ha! — move, turn it upside down.