Friday, July 4, 2014

Rosemary Balsamic Pork Chops and Dijon Brussels Sprouts

Yep.  Look at that title.  Someone is on a cooking tear.

Because it was a public holiday and I was feeling industrious, I planned this rather large menu for Monday night.  
Starting with the big item: the pork chops.

The marinade is a rather simple rosemary balsamic concoction, for 2 thick but small pork chops.  (We do not really buy in bulk in Hong Kong, for various reasons).  

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp rosemary (freshly chopped or I substituted with dry seasoning)
1 clove garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, cubed or sliced
2 tbsp pineapple juice or something sweet (cherries, apples, will also do)

Throw the marinade on the pork chops, then let sit for about 3 hours.  Flip halfway through if that is helpful.  Then make your boyfriend put them on the grill.  Sear both sides to seal in the juices and the flavor, then cook on low heat with the lid on.  These pork chops were quite thick, so took a while.
The brussels sprouts were so easy and so good that they will definitely become a staple.  When done right, these vegetables are kick ass.

Wash and cut in half the brussels sprouts, pat dry.  Then toss with two tablespoons of olive oil.  Bake at 350 degree for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.  I love the crispy edges on the brussels sprouts but never can seem to get them to brown properly.  The trick is to keep the brussels sprouts spaced out and not too wet (don't douse them in oil).  When done, toss in a dijon mustard and honey dressing consisting of:

1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 smashed garlic
1 tablespoon honey

Because I like all things tart, next time I might try to throw in a tablespoon of lemon juice too, to give it an extra kick.

Our oven is kind of tricky and temperamental and I still have not yet mastered the art of not burning things.  These came out a bit more charred than I would have liked.  But still super good.
A small note on our eating habits:

Michael and I have resolved to eat healthier this year, which means we have paid more attention to what we eat (sodium intake, alcohol intake, carb intake) but we are not crazy about it.  We still eat pizza and ice cream and, unfortunately as part of Hong Kong life, still eat out more often than is healthy.

But it also means we have increased our food budget, opting to buy the fancier cheese, the organic chicken, the grass fed beef.   It is so confusing and hard to know what to buy and where.  Should you shop in wet markets where costs are much lower but big slabs of meat are just hung out in broad daylight without refrigeration?  Should you pay astronomical fees to buy fancy imported packaged cuts flown in from New Zealand?  I don't think anyone really knows.

Organic produce is really expensive here - about on par to what you would pay in New York City fancy super markets and likely double what you would pay elsewhere in the country.  

If you are really conscious of your carbon footprint, I suggest you avoid coming to Hong Kong.  We eat apples from New York, oranges from California, beef from New Zealand, chicken from Australia, pork from Canada, and nearly all of our "western" vegetables, like brussels sprouts, fennel, curly kale, come from as far as the United States.  I do try to buy local in wet markets and opt for whatever they have available, but there is not as wide a variety as you would expect and it's quite hard to source other materials.


  1. This sounds really yummy, thanks for sharing this recipe...gonna make it one night this week.


  2. thanks for checking out the blog simon! please let me know what you think. it is super simple and easy. i hope you like it :-)