Thursday, 30 December 2010

XO Pork Chop - the occasional cooking lesson

I have a love-hate relationship in the kitchen with my mom. There can only be one cook in the kitchen. If we are both there, we would be arguing and chasing each other out. My mom does not have the patience to teach me step by step how to cook certain dishes. And I rather experiment a dish myself than have her standing next to me, nagging non-stop, and I had end up washing the dishes for her while she cooks. This time, my mom bought some pork and just told me to prepare pork chops. When I asked her how to cook the dish, as usual, she would rattled off hurriedly with instructions. It was as good as saying nothing. I chased mom out of the kitchen. Luckily I am smart enough to guess the steps and improvise myself. Hahah!

As specifically instructed by mom, the first step is to pound the pork slices with a mallet or the blunt side of the knife. The next step is to marinate the pork with the usual condiments; sesame oil, corn flour, light soya sauce, a pinch of seasoning powder, pepper..... and I decided to add a tablespoon of XO Cognac into the mix as well, even though my mom did not mention this. If you have been following my blog, you would know I love to cook using wine and especially using XO Cognac.  Remember my previous post of XO Sesame Oil Chicken ?  

So, I mix all the condiments well with the pork and leave to marinate for at least an hour or more. Next I crushed some biscuit crackers into crumbs. Then beat an egg, and we are ready to fry the pork chops. Make sure the oil is heated in the wok, dip each pork slice into the egg mix and then coat it with the biscuit crumbs, before putting it into the wok. 

In just a few minutes, the XO pork chops are cooked to golden brown crisp. The slightly dark spots are the bread crumbs. I garnished the XO pork chops with green and red leaf lettuce and tomatoes, and the dish looks so pretty! My mom tasted the pork chops first and it was stamped with approval. Sweet success!  I love the taste of the tender pork chops and especially the XO flavour came through just about right, and not too strong. This is the 'dry' version of my XO Pork Chop. 

If you prefer a 'wet' version, you can use Teriyaki sauce or Honey or Ketchup. In this case, I like a Sweet & Sour sauce, using tangy tomato-base gravy. I prepared a mix of tomato ketchup, chilli sauce, oyster sauce, salt, sugar, pepper, and a little pasta sauce, pepper, a little lemon juice, and together with water and some corn flour, mix and stir them well in a bowl.  Then I chopped a generous amount of onions, and saute them together with few slices of tomatoes. Once the onions are fragrant, pour in the tomato gravy, mix them well and let it simmer in slow fire for about 5 minutes till it is hot. 

Tadah!!! Pour the beautiful tomato gravy mix onto the pork chops and they are ready to be served!  The sweet and sour tangy taste of the gravy goes very well with the crispy exterior and tender XO pork chops. The good thing is, you can still taste the XO in the pork chops as it is not too overpowered by the sweet and sour tomato gravy. 

I am already thinking of how to improvise this dish and what type of sauce/gravy to create the next time. Maybe I will create a Mexican spicy salsa gravy. This XO Pork Chop dish is an easy dish to prepare for potluck, or just for a normal dinner at home. Both adults and kids love it! Happy cooking!!

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