Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cathartic Cooking

The Girl Teacup and the Weeone at their 2nd swim meet

So I left my kitchen for a while. We've been subsisting on convenience foods, sandwiches, ballpark delights, restaurants, vodka and cut fruit. It's been nice in some ways. It's been horrible in some ways. Mainly, it's been the way we've survived evening swim practices, finishing the school year and a very hectic work schedule for me. Now school has ended, swim practice is at 6:15am (who'd think that was an improvement other than a nutjob like me?), and work...well, work is probably why I found myself in my kitchen tonight.

Seven weeks ago my company announced that due to several things (including the passage and costs associated with the Healthcare Reform Bill) they'd be cutting about 50% of our sales force. That's a huge number. That's a scary number. That's a necessary number. My division will probably not be hit as hard as others, but it's been a long seven weeks of strategizing, crunching numbers, discussing possible scenarios and just plain worrying. Tomorrow the worry ends. Tomorrow morning, I'll be sitting at home by my phone awaiting a phone call to tell me if all the worry has been for naught or if I was right to worry. I'm sort of at peace with it going either way, but I still found myself this evening drawn to my safe place - my kitchen.

Now, even though I haven't been cooking a lot, I have been stocking the kitchen to some extent, so when we got home from today's Astro's game (where the bottom of the standings Astros beat the Chicago Cubbies!!!!) I started looking to see what proteins I had that were calling my name.

Pork. That's what I was wanting. The other white meat to some, comfort food to others. As a kid, my mother would make pan fried bone in porkchops that I adored. As an adult, I don't cook pork often enough.

Wasabi and Panko-Crusted Porkchops. Yum. The perfect blend of that other white meat, a little pan frying, and a touch of heat. Heaven on a plate.

This is a recipe that originated, I believe with Cooking Light magazine but that I discovered through their online forums. It's simple, quick and very worth the while.

A quick dredge of the porkchops through egg and panko breadcrumbs readies them to be dropped in ths skillet - a little heated peanut oil waiting for them.

Four quick minutes on each side and they're cooked. Pull the pork out, salt it and set it aside and then toss the contents of the sauce in the pan for a few minutes, add green onions and voila - your entree is done. Told you. Simple. And still yum.

By the way....there will be Happy Hour at my house matter what news the phone call if you're in the area....come say hi. You never know, it might be Celebratory Cooking tomorrow night!

Wasabi and Panko-Crusted Porkchops

Cooking Light Magazine, March 2006

Yield: 4 servings (1 porchop and 1 tablespoon sauce)

  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sake or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions


Place panko in a shallow dish. Place egg white in another shallow dish. Dip pork in egg white; dredge in panko.

Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; add pork. Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork from pan; sprinkle with salt.

Reduce heat to medium. Add ginger to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Combine broth and the next 4 ingredients (through wasabi) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in green onions. Spoon sauce over pork.

Nutritional Information

215 (28% from fat)
6.8g (sat 2.1g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.8g)