Surf and turf baby! Many people think of beef when they hear this term and they would normally be correct but I’m trying to keep you lovely people on your toes. So we’re going to talk chop today for this next Mexican inspired dinner dish. Mexicans love their pork and who can blame them. As the sun sets and the air cools people start emerging from their siestas and pool dips and hit the streets for a cool stroll and some dinner. This is a perfect time to tease the sniffer with the savory aroma of pork slowly roasting over open flames. Just thinking of this makes me hungry but this isn’t about me… it’s about you so I’ll do my best to focus. I often get quite picky with my ingredients and even more so when it comes to dinner. If the ingredients are picked with care and are good quality, then it’s much more likely that this will shine through in your dish. So instead of using the run of the mill pork chop for this dish, I went to my butcher and picked up some wild boar rack chops. The few extra dollars will be totally worth it. Trust me on this one:) The meat is a little more flavorful than regular pork but the marbling is still excellent, especially for a free range animal. For the surf, I’m going to have you searing up some scallops to accompany this little piggy. So let’s dive into this bad ass meal!!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Special gear required: Egg beater/mixer
- 2 Wild boar rack chops
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp oregano
- Salt and Pepper for seasoning
- 4 Large sea scallops
- 1 Tsp cumin powder
- 1 Tsp honey
- 1 soft ripe avocado
- 1 Tsp lemon juice (cold)
- 1/2 Heavy cream
- 1/2 Bunch of cilantro
- 1/2 Cup long grain rice
- 1 Carrot peeled
- 2 garlic cloves (see, I don’t always use powder)
- 1 Large shallot chopped
- 1 Cup chicken stock
- 1 Tomato
Lets start with the mousse which can then wait it out in the fridge while we prep everything else. A great tip for mousse or whipping cream is to start with a cold bowl… it’s science. Whip the cream with your egg beater until the cream forms stiff peaks and now set aside in the fridge. Mash the avocado as fine as possible with the lemon juice and stir until it takes on a cream like texture. The next step is pretty important stuff so stay with me on this one. Fold, don’t stir, the avocado mixture into your whipping cream. If you over work this step then you may find your mousse falling flat as it will lose too much air. We don’t want that. Now you’ve got some killer avocado mousse and your guests or date will think you sold your soul for these mad skills but we both know you wouldn’t do that. Cover this with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for later.
Next step is rice, rice baby… Combine chopped cilantro, chopped shallot, shredded carrot and 2 garlic cloves in a pot. Add rice, chicken stock and season with a pinch of salt because its gonna rock! Cover with lid and do not, for the love of Pete, take that lid off until this rice is cooked. I know people get curious and always want to peak. I know because I’m guilty of this so I fixed this dilemma by getting pots with glass lids… smart huh. Anyway, bring to a boil and then turn the heat right down to low and cook for about 20 minutes. At this point you can take the lid off to give the rice and other ingredients a stir to make sure everything is combined and boom! Mexican rice! Cover with a lid again and remove from heat. Now let’s rewind a little here….
While the rice is cooking it’s time to multi-task! I know you got this because I’m the worst multi-tasker (just ask my wife and she’ll tell you) and I can pull this off. Heat up a pan or skillet with some olive oil. I used a stainless steel pan for searing meats because then I can finish the cooking in the oven. If you don’t have one, no big deal because you can transfer the chops to an oven safe dish after you’ve finished searing the chops. Pre-heat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Season your delicious chops with salt and pepper. Now its time to rub the chili and oregano on both sides. Open a window and turn on your oven hood fan because this could get a bit smokey… Make sure your pan is nice and hot. Time to sear both sides of your chops. About 1 minute on each side should do it. The timing I mention here will bring your chops to medium doneness so adjust the time if you prefer your pork more well done. Don’t cook for more than 20 minutes after searing though, because you will only succeed in drying out those sweet chops you paid extra for… no bueno! After searing both sides, transfer the pan to the oven and cook for about 8-10 minutes until it reaches 145 Fahrenheit for medium*. This time will depend on your oven.. *Meat thermometers are the best way to ensure proper doneness and make you look awesome cause you’ll always cook the perfect cut of meat.
Please let these chops rest for a few minutes as you should do with all meat after cooking. It allows the meat to relax and will make the chewing process so much better for you. I find this is easy to do as the meat is usually the last thing I set when plating a dish. While your chops are quick roasting in the oven. Heat another pan, slice your tomato and season it and the scallops with salt and black pepper. Sear the tomatoes quickly over high heat and they will get a nice smokey flavor. These will be delicious and will also look damn sexy on the plate*. Now add the cumin to your scallops and sear both sides in the pan. This will take about 45-60 seconds per side and then they will be cooked. When you have flipped your scallop, add the tsp of honey to the pan and watch as it bubbles and coats the scallops. Can you smell what I’m cooking now?
*People eat with their eyes first so presentation is a very important part of cooking.
Ok, Plating time… This is a very important part of any meal because looks are important. Start with the seared tomato slice. Pack the rice into a ramekin and then turn upside down onto the tomato. I usually dab a paper towel with a little bit of cooking oil and rub the inside of the ramekin to ensure the rice slides out easily. If you don’t have a ramekin, a small mug or small tupperware container will work just fine. Top the rice with your seared scallops and finish with a dollop of your citrus avocado mousse. Now carefully lean your chop again the side of this delicious structure you have just built and top with a cilantro sprig because that’s how you roll!!
What should we sip on….? This meal pairs excellently with a glass of pinot noir or if you want a cold beverage then a glass of french style rose (not sweet, but dry) will also go beautifully with this meal. Cheers!!
Enough chat, go give this a whirl and enjoy your meal!
Don’t forget to share the compliments you got on your cooking and until next time…
Petey Pabs out…