Monday, May 22, 2006

Five Spice + One Spice

I stayed late at work and had plans to head to the Giant on my way home. But then I decided that I didn't have enough time to do all I wanted, so it was going to be something quick!

I found four small, thin cut, boneless pork chops. I grabbed some shallots and headed to the check-out. With less than $5.00, I was on my way.

Ladies and Germs, I give you tonight's experiment:

Chinese Five Spice pork chops with Sherry Shallot Sauce
Serves 2

4 thin cut, boneless pork chops; all fat cut off
2 tsp Chinese Five Spice (what's this?)
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 TB Olive Oil
2 Medium Shallots, sliced thinly
2 TB Dry Sherry
1 TB Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup broth (Chicken or Vegg)

Combine the Five Spice, Cayenne Pepper, A pinch of salt and about two or three grinds the black pepper. Sprinkle this on both sides of your pork chops. Heat olive oil in medium pan over high heat. When hot, add your pork chops. Saute on boths sides for about two minutes each.

When done, remove to a warm plate. Add a small frizzle of olive oil if the pan is dry. Toss in the shallots and saute until tender. Carefully add the sherry. Stir up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. When the sherry has reduced, nearly completely, add the vinegar and the broth. Simmer until reduced by half. Spoon over the plated pork chops!

The chops doing their thing in the pan.
The Five Spice gave them this great color and amazing aroma.

I was lazy, so I served with couscous, which actually worked ok.

Another photo for fun.

I really liked this and plan to try it again. The Five Spice flavors really punch their way to the top of the flavor profile. The sauted shallots and sherry sauce help tame the flavors with a slight sweetness and pungency. The sweetness is an earthy sweetness from the cinnamon and star anise in the five spice, plus the reduced sherry. The hint of tartness is thanks to the vinegar!


Lady Brandenburg said...

Sounds yum! Do you have five spice in a jar or did you make your own? Is there a certain brand to look for?

ScottE. said...

My Five Spice is the McCormick's brand, already blended....that said, i do have all the spices on their own if I wanted to make my own, but I don't really use it enough yet to do that.

Brunette said...

Love Five Spice! I know I should replenish my supply more often, but I still use a bottle that I got a while ago on sale at Crate&Barrel. Still has a strong fragrance.

As my contribution to an Asian-themed dinner party with co-workers, I once made a couple of batches of Ghirardelli brownies (the best boxed mix out there!) and sprinkled the cooled brownies liberally with Five Spice powder. The dessert was a huge hit, and really showed how versatile this spice mix can be.

ScottE. said...

Brunette: That's really interesting!!! It is a wonderful flavor. I've used it on sauted sweet potatoes as well as chicken...but yum!