Ming Tsai's pork chops with ginger apple sauce

Ming Tsai's pork chops with ginger apple sauce

I love Ming Tsai, I  have probably mentioned this before. Though he’s a celebrity chef, has his own cooking show, has been on Iron Chef (and won, beating Bobby Flay), and has guest judged on Top Chef; he only owns one restaurant, which I find pretty admirable. He cooks there every day, unlike many celebrity chefs that own 10 restaurants and don’t really cook at any of them. And, Ming’s restaurant happens to be in my hometown (yes we’re on a first name basis in my head). I love his French-Asian fusion, even though it might seem overdone, he was one of the first to do it. And I love how his cookbooks are set up: one master sauce with 3-4 different recipes to make with it.

For gourmet on a budget I present his pork chops with ginger-fuji apple sauce. You can make extra chutney and use it for other recipes, like I did for this, which I brought to a Superbowl party (huge hit, by the way). The recipe includes maple sweet potatoes, but I’m not a huge fan of sweet presentations of squashes so I didn’t make it. This can be served with a simple side salad, which might add a dollar to the cost. The key to the recipe is cooking the pork chops so they don’t dry out. I have the secret to do it, but you gotta read the recipe details to find out.

Budget: $12, serves approximately 4, so $3 a serving.

Recipe details after the jump.

A regular feature in which I cook cheap, gourmet dishes.


pumpkin pancake and apple compote

For breakfast: pumpkin pancake and apple compote

A good weekend always includes, at least for me, a good breakfast. This weekend, it was pumpkin pancakes with apple compote and some good coffee.

The pumpkin pancake recipe is from Kim O’Donnel at Mighty Appetite. In the recipe she says that you likely will have to add more liquid to get the pancake batter to the right consistency. And you do, I found myself adding a lot more, definitely more than the quarter cup she recommends.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but whatever pumpkin things I make never really taste like “pumpkin” – probably because I feel like pumpkin isn’t a very strong flavor, but what makes pumpkin “pumpkin-y” is the spices we add and associate with pumpkin pie. So in order to get it to taste more “pumpkin” adding plenty of spices and other flavors to enhance it are necessary. And I think this recipe gets that well.

As for the apple compote, it is very simple and easy to make, and is a really nice addition to the pancake. I made it over the week and had it ready for breakfast this morning, just needed to warm it up before served.

It’s a very late fall kind of breakfast.