Today I fed the Work Dudes. I do this, every once in a while, for fun and perhaps a bit of the ego boost on days that I really get it right. The Dudes are free with their compliments and it does a girl’s ego good to hear that her food is ‘effing awesome.’ Effing Awesome, by the way, is the Work Dude equivalent of 5 stars.

Today’s menu was partly based on my yen to break out my sous vide immersion circulator. I started out planning to do pork loin. I am, however, prone to happily going overboard on just about everything so I picked up some chicken thighs. Yeah. WAY too much food but you can ask anyone. I’m a creature of excess.

And so we had:

Pork loin chops marinated in Jack Daniels, boiled apple cider, brown sugar, a hint of vanilla and some red Aleppo pepper.

It was completely cooked via sous vide and then finished off with just a few seconds on the grill. Have to have those pretty grill marks, you know! I do wish I had dialed the temperature back on the pork a bit. I had this whole inner dialogue going last night about the temperature I should cook it at. Left to my own devices, I probably would have aimed for a medium rare and done it at around 135 degrees F for 90 minutes with a good resting period. Alas, I was having visions of people being squicked out by pork that was still a little pink, even though that old myth about cooking pork until it is white is bunk. Against my better judgement, I cooked it at 145 degrees F. It was a wee bit well done for my liking. I was disappointed but, then again, I do tend to be my own worst critic. (Along those lines I hate all the pictures that I took today. But they’re what I’ve got so…)

Anyhoo, let’s file it all under Learning Experiences and move on. Next time I’ll listen to my inner voice when it speaks to me of pork.

Sous Vide & Grilled Pork Loin

Sous Vide & Grilled Pork Loin

Want the recipe for the marinade?

Apple Jack Pork Chop Marinade
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey or bourbon
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon red Aleppo pepper
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 4 pork loin chops (or whatever cut you'd like, really)
Instructions
  1. Whisk the whiskey or bourbon, cider, brown sugar, mustard, cayenne, vanilla, and vinegar together in a medium bowl. Pour it all into to a gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag, add the pork chops, press the air out of the bag, and seal. Turn the bag to coat the chops with the marinade and refrigerate for at least a few hours. I let it go overnight.
  2. Cook the chops using your desired method. In my case, I cooked them via sous vide and then tossed them onto a hot grill to give them some nice grill marks.
Notes
While I didn't do this, the original recipe recommends setting aside all but ¼ cup of the marinade to use for a pan sauce after cooking the chops in a skillet. Planning to try that next time!

Adapted from The Cook's Country Cookbook

Boneless skinless chicken thighs marinated in Nom Nom Paleo’s Damn Fine Chicken marinade.

This marinade, BTW, lives up to its name. It is, in fact, Damn Fine. The chicken was also cooked via sous vide and finished off on the grill. It was good but I do think that the Damn Fine Chicken marinade is a little better with the raw marinated chicken slapped on a hot grill and cooked there. The flavors really develop and pop more. Click on the link above for the recipe. It goes straight out to NNP’s website. Take a few minutes to check it out, whether you’re Paleo or no. She’s a fantastic cook and has many excellent recipes.

Sous Vide & Grilled Chicken Thighs

Sous Vide & Grilled Chicken Thighs

Frog’s Eye Salad, recipe courtesy of my sister-in-law.

Pot luck salad goodness at its best. Hit the link for the recipe.

Frog's Eye Salad

Frog’s Eye Salad

Grilled shishito peppers

From Trader Joe’s. We just slapped them on the grill while the meat was being seared off. Very nice indeed. They were mildy sweet with just a hint of heat.

Grilled Shishito Peppers

Grilled Shishito Peppers

We had an excellent tomato and cucumber salad, courtesy of the lovely and talented Kathy. She also brought in a good chocolate Oreo mousse. Sadly I forgot to take pictures of these. A shame, really, because they were as pretty as they were tasty.

I’m probably to blame for the drop in productivity this afternoon. After we ate, everyone just wanted to nap.