Friday, December 18, 2009

Inspiration Saved!

Have you ever seen a recipe that looks interesting to you, and you decide you want to make it? Then you realize you don't have the time or availability of ingredients you need, so you make it with what you have and end up with an entirely new recipe?

I've been feeling uninspired as of late. My inability to come up with new recipes isn't just about perfecting old recipes for a potential future book. I just haven't had many ideas.

Well, thank goodness for other bloggers because when things seem to be at their darkest point, there is always a blogger who leads me in the right direction.

This time it was, as it often is, Amy and Jonny of We Are Never Full. They always have such interesting recipes that I either want to emulate, or at least try to ruin beyond all recognition play with.

The pork roulade they featured is beautiful, but it's a little much for just me to eat, and it was also a little too much work for a Friday night. I decided to simplify it with a sausage-stuffed pork chop. It was my intention to make it as close to their recipe as possible, likely ommitting the chestnuts in the interest of time and possibly replacing them with some dried fruit. I really wanted to use the pistachios though. Unfortunately, there was not a green nut to be had in the store. I knew I had some pine nuts at home. How about some of those? Maybe some orange zest would be good with that. Then add a little of that orange flavor to the cider?

By the time I had formulated the recipe in my head, I had strayed pretty far from my original inspriation. What I ended up with was a pork chop stuffed with sausage, onion, bread crumbs, and pine nuts, and seasoned with orange zest and cinnamon. The sauce was cider also with a splash of orange juice then jazzed up with a touch of cream.

For Sir Pickypants, it was scallops glazed with oranges and balsamic vinegar. We had broccolini steamed and drizzled with brown butter on the side.

I found inspiration and I took a strange journey to two entirely new recipes!

Sausage-Stuffed Pork Chops

4 boneless center-cut pork loin chops
1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage (if you can't find bulk, buy links and remove from casings)
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbl pine nuts
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup apple cider
2 Tbl cider vinegar
1/4 cup cream

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together sausage, zest, cinnamon, bread crumbs, and pine nuts. Set aside.

Using a small, sharp knife, cut a pocket in each chop. Start with a small slit and then move your knife while it's inside the chop towards the edges. Do not cut all the way through.

Fill the pockets with the sausage mixture. You will have some leakage outside, but go with it. You want these chops nice and full and the leakage shows what deliciousness hides inside. You will likely have some stuffing left over, so be happy about the sausage patty you're having for breakfast tomorrow.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper and brown them well on both sides - about 5 minutes per side.

Place chops in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes. Use a meat thermometer! You want to make sure that stuffing reaches 160 degrees.

While chops are in the oven, mix together OJ, cider, and vinegar. Remove chops from pan and keep warm. Add cider mixture to the pan and scrape up the brown bits. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes until reduced down. Stir in cream and let sauce thicken up. Pour over pork chops.

Scallops in Orange-Balsamic Sauce

1 Pound Sea Scallops
2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 Tbl Butter
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
5 sage leaves
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves

Bring OJ, vinegar and herbs to a boil in a small sauce pan and reduce for a couple of minutes.

Heat olive oil and 1 Tbl of butter in a skillet. Dry the scallops with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook scallops about a minute or two on each side until no longer translucent. Remove to plate.

Put the juice mixture in the pan and deglaze. Add another tablespoon of butter. Pour mixture over scallops.


Donna-FFW said...

I enjoyed your adapted version.. you have a lucky guy.. hope he knows 2 are too sweet.

Sue said...

Wow! One of those dishes would have been great, but both are fantastic AND for a Friday night! Yum!

Bellini Valli said...

Both sound delicious!!

Melissa said...

I just can't even imagine coming up with this based on what you had in the house. That is true creative and inspired cooking. I'm in admiration!

CookiePie said...

WOW - they both sound amazing!!!

Peter M said...

A nice one-two punch of a dinner. Amy & Jonny know good eats.

The Blonde Duck said...

Isn't it wonderful being inspired by bloggy friends?