I am often asked to name my worst injury in the kitchen, a question I always find myself hard pressed to answer. For someone who spends as much time in the kitchen as I do, I am exceedingly lucky; besides nicking my fingers a few times, inadvertently trimming my nails via knife and a few stray burns, I have remained largely unscathed.
I don’t know how I have done this, frankly. I can, at times, be extremely absentminded and become totally wrapped up in my thoughts. Like an 8-year-old without his Ritalin, I become totally unable to focus. I think this is one of the reasons I am such a horrifically awful driver; something pretty catches my eye and I am swerving the whole car as I turn to get a better look. Then again, sometimes “Paradise City” comes on and I dare any of you to tell me that you don’t feel every note of that in your soul, and you just want to scream and dance in the privacy of your own car. Oh? You don’t? Well, that’s why you should be driving and I should be your co-pilot, your singing, dancing co-pilot.
My easily distracted nature almost lead to my first kitchen catastrophe while making dinner the other night. I was famished, having made a trip to the gym before heading home and was trying to rush dinner while answering emails and putting away groceries. I threw these skewers on the grill pan and slopped the glaze on with a heavy hand. Before I you could say “fire hazard” the whole apartment was filled with smoke. Like a frog in a pot that slowly comes to a boil, the whole apartment was engulfed in the choking haze and I had not even sensed it happening. I ran around, turning on the vent, throwing open windows and cracking the front door of the apartment.
Luckily, though, it was not all for naught; these garlic mustard glazed pork skewers were definitely worth the slight inconvenience of a smoky apartment. As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it and it did not let me down. The grainy, tangy mustard is complemented perfectly by the salty soy and sweet honey. And all the garlic and rosemary? Perfection. I don’t think it is completely necessary to cut meat into chunks, except cubing the meat gives more surface area, which means more delicious glaze. If you have a few extra minutes, it is a worthwhile step, thought not at all necessary. I plan on using the leftover marinade on a chicken breast tomorrow. I cannot think of anything that wouldn’t be enhanced by a thick slathering of this glaze.
Enjoy, just keep one eye on the stove…
Garlic Mustard Pork Skewers
Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey (brown sugar can be subbed if you are out of honey)
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (or 1 tsp dry)
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 pinch kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 porkchops, cut in to 1″ cubes (other protein options: beef tips, shrimp, chicken…maybe even tofu?)
Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before using. While glaze sits, cut meat in to cubes and skewer. Cooking pork until done–about 8 minutes–brushing with glaze every time you flip. (note: this makes a lot of glaze…you will have leftovers. Split it in half BEFORE you stick your brush in the mixture. You want to avoid contamination. Remaining glaze will keep for aout a week. Believe me, you will use it.)