Prune juice pork chops — or to give it some elegance, aged prune juice pork chops — is a dish perfect when you find in the freezer boneless porch chops acquired in a long-ago sale and discover in the cupboard a bottle of prune juice with a three-year-old expiration date.
It is surprisingly good.
Actually it is rather delicious.
Pat two small chops dry then give them a rub of two teaspoons of salt, two teaspoons and a teaspoon of black pepper. Let them sit in the frige for an hour.
Cut an onion in rings.
Heat a splash of vegetable oil — or even some non-stick spray — in a Dutch oven or large pot. Put the chops in for a sear. Pull them out and put in the onion slices. Let them get soft, then add just enough prune juice to cover. The juice will deglaze so remember to scrap so the brown bits on the bottom can be included.
Add two tablespoons of brown sugar. Let the juice come to a simmer, then return the chops. Braise them until their temp hits 140 F. It won’t be long. Remove them to rest and let the sauce reduce. When reduced pour the sauce and onions on the meat and eat.
Potato Chip Tomato Dip Salad — You’re desperate. The tomato plants in the garden are exploding fruit and you can’t give it away fast enough. You hate to see it go to waste. You chop up an onion and throw it a large bowl with as many tomatoes as you can. You add vinegar (red wine in this case) and olive oil in 2 to 1 ratio with some spices. Salt of course is necessary. We also included red pepper, powdered garlic, basil and oregano. How much? We eyeballed it.
Mix it and let it sit. Yum. It seems to last about a week staying enjoyable.
You’re hungry. The salad isn’t going to do it by itself. You need carbs. Hey, an idea. Open up a bag of potato chips and dump some in a soup bowl. Put the salad on top. Mix it. It’s good.
A less trailer-parkish thing would be to use beans. Best to let them soak a while in the salad before consuming, though. Canned beans work great. You don’t need to cook them but you should drain and rinse them. What kind of beans? You pick it.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan then put in that can of stewed tomatoes you’ve had since 2018. Add two tablespoons of powdered garlic, a tablespoon of salt, a tablespoon of oregano and two teaspoons of red pepper.
Bring it to a simmer then slowly add three tablespoons of flour. Mix it well then add two tablespoon of shredded sharp cheese. Why not mozzarella? Um, Covid checkout lines.
Wait until the cheese melts then serve with stale Tostitos.
OK, as an entree this is fairly lacking but it’s not a bad dip.
Hamburger Cheese Steak Surprisingly Close To Real Thing — Granted this won’t replace what you can find at the corner steak shop but it comes surprisingly close and is a welcome substitute if you should be stuck in some backwater like Florida or under a quarantine or something.
Sauté onion slices in butter. Crumble an appropriate amount of ground beef in the pan and fry it. Melt cheese with the mix and scramble it. Put it on a long roll and enjoy.
Actually, just dish it on a plate and enjoy.
Hamburger Cheese Steak Surprisingly Close To Real Thing
Boil three medium sized russet potatoes in well-salted water for about 15 minutes then let them cool in the fridge overnight.
Peel then grate them.
In an 8-inch pan, melt 4tablespoons of butter over low heat. Slowly stir in the potatoes and a teaspoon of salt. Cook them for about two minutes turning frequently. Gently mold them into a pancake — don’t press hard — that would hold its shape. Add two tablespoons of hot water and a little bit more butter, cover and cook for 12 or 13 minutes. Flip onto a plate — you know how to do that right– and enjoy with sour cream, or cream cheese or smoke salmon or what hits your fancy.
Holy Myrrh-Bearers Parish is having a Christmas- time Stuffed Cabbage Sale. The traditional Stuffed Cabbage is made with beef, pork, rice, spices, and tomato sauce. Cost is three rolls for $12. Also available will be Halushki (cabbage and noodles) at $7 per quart or $4 a pint.
Please place orders by Sunday, Dec. 1 by calling the Pierogie Hotline at 610-544-1216 or emailingHMBChurch@verizon.net
Pick up is 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 and 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 8 at the parish hall, 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081.
Last Day For Pierogis At HMB — The Holy Myrrh-Bearer pierogi makers are stepping down for the summer. Tomorrow, June 2, is the last day to order. Pickup will be Friday, June 7, at the church, 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Bacon Red Beans And Rice Recipe — An inexpensive and easy riff on the classic Cajun dish of red beans and rice is to do the makin with bacon.
Heat up a large sauce pan and dice an onion, large bell pepper and a stalk of celery. Then dice about five strips of supermarket bacon.
Render the bacon in the sauce pan and sauté the veggies in the fat. If there is not enough fat add some butter or oil.
Add the seasoning. Remember, the one who adds the rice picks the spice. Garlic powder, salt and pepper is a safe choice. Don’t forget the bacon has a lot of salt.
Stir and add two cans of beans without draining them. What kind? Small red, kidney, pink, mix them up, you’re the chef.
Give the cans a scrape, fill them with water and add that.
There should be enough liquid to cover everything. If not add more water. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and let it go for an hour or two.
About 20 minutes before mealtime, rinse the rice. How much rice? It’s decision time. Do you want the dish to be smooth like Popeyes? Run it through a food process or — much, much easier — use a hand-blender to cream it in the pot. Then cook as much rice as you want separately.
If not, estimate how much liquid is left, bring it back to a boil and add an appropriate amount of rice at the ratio of one part rice to two parts liquid.
Cook until the rice is soft and liquid absorbed then ladle out.
He was born Edward Teach in Bristol England and was known by several names — Thatch, Thach and Drummond. Except for the fact that he went to sea as a youth, his early life remains a mystery. He was a demon, a brutal giant who loved to spill blood.
His ship, a captured French vessel which he renamed the Queen Anne’s Revenge, was swift and carried 40 cannons.
His long beard was braided into pigtails and tied with ribbons. He wore six pistols on one shoulder and a cutlass on the other.
Before going into battle, he shoved lengths of cannon fuse under his headgear and lit them to smolder. His evil countenance, framed by smoke caused many victims to surrender before a shot was fired.
Blackbeard had captured and looted many ships. He became famous, however, only when he defeated a British man-o-war, The Scarborough. The story of his victory spread, and Blackbeard became the most feared pirate in the world.
His biggest triumph came in 1717 when he easily captured five richly laden ships practically in the Charlestown, S.C. harbor. His ships (he now had three under his command) were loaded with goodies taken from other vessels, but he needed medical supplies.
He sent word to the South Carolina governor that unless he coughed up the medicine, Blackbeard would burn the captured ships and kill the crews.
The governor delivered the medical supplies.
The King of England had recently offered amnesty to all the cutthroats who vowed to give up piracy and go straight.
Blackbeard was a thug without honor. He decided to accept the offer, but had no intentions of giving up his joys of pillaging and killing. In 1718, Blackbeard the pirate ruled the seas and called North Carolina home.
He made deals with Charles Eden, the corrupt royal governor of North Carolina who gave him and his crews certificates of pardon and allowed them to use Ocracoke Island as their headquarters and to continue looting and robbing.
At first the North Carolina traders were in favor of the deal because they could buy Blackbeard’s booty cheap. Then Blackbeard started to bully and rob the traders. Eden did not give ear to their complaints, so the traders sent a delegation to Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood. The honest Spotswood decided to end the reign of terror even though he had no jurisdiction in the area.
“No one must know what I do tonight,” Spottswood told himself. “North Carolina’s governor cannot be trusted. Many on my own council are in league with the devil.” He was going to act on the theory that the best weapon was surprise — and some well-manned sloops.
“Yes, we must deal with him now, here,” Spottswood told his advisers, “lest his presence haunt us to our graves.”
He sent two British warships to the pirate’s headquarters on Ocracoke Island with instructions to capture Blackbeard and his crew of 20 pirates.
Lt. Robert Maynard was in command of the ships. After many exchanges of cannon fire, Blackbeard figured he had the advantage and boarded Maynard’s sloop. Maynard and Blackbeard exchanged pistol shots. Blackbeard, whose brain was a bit foggy from a belly full of grog, missed.
Maynard did not miss. He planted a bullet directly in Blackbeard’s chest.
It did not even slow him down. He went after Maynard with his cutlass, Maynard parried and struck telling blows with his sword. Finally, bleeding from a score of wounds Blackbeard sunk to the deck. He drew another pistol and aimed at Maynard, but was too weak to pull the trigger. He died in a pool of blood. Maynard’s men hung Blackbeards’ severed head on a mast and returned to Okracoke in triumphant victory.