I went shopping at the Farmers @ The Firehouse Market this morning to get my ingredients for my Kick Ass Cookery with Corduroy Orange live from the Waffle Shop cooking show; combined what I bought with some pickings from my garden; gathered my spices and my cooking equipment…. In short, I prepared everything I needed for today except for taking a camera to snap a picture of what I made (D’oh!). But, here are instructions in case you’d like to have Pork Chop Waffles with Rhubarb and Ramp Sauce.
- 1/4 pound ramps
- 1/4 pound spring (green) garlic
- 1/2-3/4 pound rhubarb
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger
- 10 leaves dinosaur kale
- 6 leaves kohlrabi greens
- 6 leaves red mustard greens
- 1-2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4-6 ounces apple cider (I used Woodchuck brand hard cider)
- 4-6 ounces vegetable stock
- 1 pork chop
- kosher salt
- pepper (I used a mix of black, white, green, and aleppo peppers)
- powdered ginger
Cut the green, leafy tops of the ramps and the spring garlic away from their denser bottom sections. Set the tops aside for later and cut the bottoms into a fine dice.
Start the diced garlic and ramp bottoms caramelizing in a hot pan with a bit of oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan), some pepper, some ginger, and some kosher salt. Stir frequently so that the onions’ natural sugars toast in the hot oil but do not scorch and burn.
Meanwhile, cut the rhubarb into 1/2-inch chunks and add them to the pan as the garlic and ramps approach the point when, should you caramelize them further, they would run the risk of burning. Provide the rhubarb with a very small pinch of salt and stir it in with the ramps and garlic.
Remove the stems from the kale and the kohlrabi. Cut the greens into thin ribbons, and add them to the pan. Saute them briefly, then add the flour and stir the flour in to combine with the oil that the vegetables are sauteing in. Once you have formed a roux around the vegetables, add the cider, slowly, and stir it in to combine with the roux. Let simmer for a few minutes, and adjust the consistency of the sauce with vegetable stock as necessary.
For the pork chop, craft a spice mix from the spices and the kosher salt. Use as much pepper as you would like to reach your tolerance for spiciness. Temper with ginger, equivalent to perhaps 1/3 of the pepper you have used. Stir in a pinch of cardamom—a little dab’ll do you! This spice is bitter in large quantities—and enough salt to balance the spices. Taste the result. Adjust as needed until you have the taste you desire. Rub this mix on the pork chop and then sear the chop in a hot cast iron pan (in order to get the sauce and the chop done at the same time, sear the chop at about the same time as you’re crafting the roux to make the sauce. It helps to have an assistant in order to accomplish both tasks simultaneously).
Once the one side has seared, turn the chop over and cover your cast iron pan with the saute pan that you have made the sauce in. This will help keep the finished sauce warm whilst (and at the same time as) trapping more heat around the pork chop to help it cook all the way through.
As the second side of the pork chop cooks, slice a few inches of rhubarb into very thin pieces and stir it into the sauce to add a second, fresher and tarter layer of rhubarb flavor. Slice the mustard greens and the tops of the ramps and green garlic into thin ribbons to use as a garnish.
Flip the pork chop once more to reheat the first side and prod the pork chop with your fingers to make sure it feels done. If you;re in doubt, feel free to slice it open to check out the inside. An appropriately cooked pork chop will still have a pale pink hue to the center.
Serve the pork chop atop a freshly cooked waffle. Spoon a line of the rhubarb and ramp sauce across the waffle such that it covers a corner of the pork chop, leaving at least half of the chop exposed to display the crust that has developed from searing the spice rub. Top it all off with a small pile of the thinly-sliced mustard, ramp, and garlic greens.
Meat and produce used for the creation of this waffle was purchased from the following farms:
- Mott Family Farm
- Next Life Farm
- Goose Creek Gardens, Ltd.
- Heilman’s Hog Wash Farms
- The Allegheny Mushroom Man
Find all of these farmers and more every Saturday at the Farmers @ The Firehouse market in the Strip District.
Thanks also to Sophia for appearing on camera today. Unless that thanks should go to Sofia. I’m actually not quite sure how she spells her name….