Here’s the special guest post I mentioned earlier from Justin:
While I do not share the same enthusiasm for my birthday, I know that birthday celebrations are one of the most important times of the year for my wife. I knew I wanted to cook a special meal for her, and I wanted something without a complex list of ingredients. I also wanted something I had cooked before, to save myself the pressure of testing new things. I went with Columbus’ Pork Chops, and substituted the suggested side of salad and crusty bread for wilted spinach. This recipe is from one of our go-to cookbooks, Rachel Ray’s 365: No Repeats (http://www.amazon.com/Rachael-Ray-365-Repeats-Deliciously/dp/1400082544). When I first started reading through the directions, I was thinking it was too simple for a guest blog post, but once I started preparing and taking photos, I felt like there was enough substance for the many readers of The Three Bite Rule.
Columbus’ Pork Chops
4 boneless, thick-cut pork chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 cup basil leaves, chopped
1/4 balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Preheat the oven to 375. Season the chops with salt and pepper and let them come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the basil and vinegar and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO to the skillet and sear and caramelize the meat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until the juices run clear and the meat is firm but not hard (I always use our meat thermometer and it never fails to produce perfectly cooked meat!). Let the meat rest for 5 minutes.
Mound the macerated berries on top of the chops and serve.
I was really impressed with how it turned out, and even more impressed with my plating. I am confident it would have been enough to win over the toughest Chopped judges! It was a pretty straightforward, yet elegant presentation, and Emily was really happy with it.
I also wanted to add in a special dessert, and decided that I could gamble on baking something new after the success of the main course. I grabbed a box of Betty Crocker Decadent Supreme Molten Lava Cakes, and to my surprise they turned out perfectly!