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Friday, August 2, 2013

Guest Blogger~ The Kitchen Witch

Good Morning! I am so excited, since today's Guest Blogger is a very, very good friend of mine. I met Lyndsay, the creative genius behind The Kitchen Witch and Charmed, a few years back and we became fast friends. I hope you enjoy the wonderful recipe she has to share with you today!

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As a newcomer to guest posting for Cindy, let me first introduce myself with a big "Hello!" I'm Lyndsay Wells, also known as The Kitchen Witch. I'm also a fellow Canadian food blogger who has been a personal friend of Cindy's for several years. As such, it's my honour to write for Hun... What's For Dinner and to share my recipe for Mandarin Pork Chops.


But before we get to that, I have a story to share because despite the apparent deliciousness of the above recipe, it's also pretty healthy. And I - somewhat like the dish - am also sweet, spicy, and... a little bit healthy.

In honour of that, I started a swimming program this winter as a way to beat stress and promote physical fitness - which was a real boon, let me tell you, because in my youth I lived at the pool and even went so far as to teach a popular seniors aquasize class in the early 90's.

It gave me great pleasure to see seventy and eighty somethings getting their groove on to classics like "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "Sweet Child of Mine."

People, when AC/DC sang "She was a fast machine, she kept me warm and clean, she was the best damn woman that I ever seen," those babes would lose it! Throwing their hands in the air, and shake shake shakin their booties - it was one of the most fun and rewarding jobs I've ever had.

But after I got into the career I'm in now, all that good physical fitness was replaced with drinking loads of Pepsi and self medicating with Snickers bars. So in an effort to avoid an early grave, I gathered all my courage this winter, and dragged my non exercised and somewhat flabby butt back to the pool.

I know what you're all thinking - and certainly, anyone who's had to go to a pool for the first time since 6th grade knows what a daunting task this is. Not only do you have to put your body on display for a bunch of strangers, you also have to navigate your way through the rules and etiquette of the pool:

The good news, though, is that after several weeks of near death experiences as I tried to keep ahead of the faster swimmers in the medium lane, I began to notice it getting easier. It wasn't so difficult keeping up with the crowd anymore, and for months I swam in a kind of athletic nirvana: Going with the flow, nodding at my fellow swimmers between lengths, and basking in the good feelings of participaction.

Infused with the fabulousity and well being that goes with being a middle aged swimming goddess, I came home the other night and decided to make some magic by slimming down a package of boneless, fast fry pork chops.

I began by sauteing them in a non stick pan with just a smidgeon of vegetable oil.


When they got all cozy and golden I set them aside...

 And made an Asian inspired pan sauce with mandarin orange juice, soy sauce, fresh ginger, and all kinds of other amazing ingredients.



I added that back to the pan along with the pork chops and tinned mandarins and let that simmer for 15 minutes.



And voila!

A delicious dish everyone is going to love.


***

I came home from work the other day, unpacked my gym bag and hung my bathing suit to dry on a hook in the laundry area. About five minutes later I can hear my husband laughing.

"What's so funny?" I ask him.

"Have you been wearing this bathing suit in public?" he asks still laughing.

"Of course, what else would I wear?"

"Well you might want to re-think it," he says, and then holds up it up to the light.

The entire rear end had been disintegrated so badly by the chlorine that it was now nothing but see through black gauze. And I'd been traipsing about the pool deck in it - swimmer of the year. I've decided to put a positive spin on it, though - choosing to refer to it as a wardrobe malfunction, assured in my belief that, at the very least, I made some elderly gent's day ;)

I hope you enjoy today's recipe!

Mandarin Pork Chops
The Kitchen Witch

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp each Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 boneless fast fry pork chops
  • 1 small tin mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (for less spicy version use 1 tsp)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (for less spicy version use 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Siracha chili sauce (omit for less spicy version)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, drain the juice from the mandarins and add the broth, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, chili sauce is using, and corn starch. Stir well until blended. Set aside.
  2. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. 
  3. Treat a large non-stick pan with the vegetable oil and fry the pork chops in two batches over medium high heat about 2 minutes a side until golden. Add a little water to the pan if it begins getting too hot. Remove to a plate.
  4. Return the pan to medium heat and add the reserved sauce. Bring just to the boil and stir as it thickens bringing any browning off the bottom of the pan and into the sauce.
  5. Return the pork chops to the pan and add the mandarin orange slices. 
  6. Turn heat to medium low and let the chops simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve over rice with the sauce spooned over all. 

Learn how to create magic in your own gardens and kitchens using everyday ingredients, minimal gadgets, and very little fancy equipment. It’s easier than you think with tips and tricks from the Kitchen Witch!

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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1 comment:

Will Cotterill said...

Good story but what I appreciate the most is the food you prepared for us! I like orange so, this recipe for me is perfect!I;m actually starving now!lol