Sunday, April 13, 2008

Royal Foodie Joust

One of the food blogs that I frequently read hosts a monthly cooking competition called: "The Royal Foodie Joust" Every month three theme ingredients are chosen by the previous months contest winner. Voting takes place by the contestants themselves and the group seems to be more supportive vs. competitive.
This month the three theme ingredients are Mango, Brown sugar and Cardamom. While these seem to be obvious baking or pastry ingredients I immediately took the savory approach to these three ingredients.

I remembered a Cardamom & Coffee rub I had used several years ago and I also have used Mango for drinks, desserts and salsa.

For May's Royal Foodie Joust my entry is:



Grilled Double-cut Pork Chops with a Cardamom & Coffee Dry Rub served with Mango Salsa.

The chop is brined with Brown Sugar and Kosher Salt then dry rubbed with Cardamom, Coffee and spices. Flame Grilled to medium rare.

served with
Sesame Asian Rainbow Cole Slaw
Red and green cabbage, scallions, carrots, bean sprouts and cilantro are dressed with a sesame/soy/peanut dressing
Cheddar, Jalepeno Corn Muffins with Honey Butter


Chocolate Mousse


2005 Sineann Old Vine Zinfandel
Wehlener Sonnenuhr
2001 Riesling Auslese
S.A. Prum

The menu is definitely influenced by the more traditional Southern meal of pan fried Pork Chops, Cole Slaw and Cornbread.
I had fun tweaking the three menu items to compliment each other and I would definitely use the Cardamom & Coffee rub again.

Cardamom & Coffee Spice Rub

1/4 cup finely ground Italian Roast Coffee Beans

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

4 teaspoons ground cardamom (an coffee grinder works great)

8 garlic cloves, minced

3 teaspoons very finely chopped fresh ginger

Start with the dry ingredients and mix together in a small bowl. Add the garlic and fresh ginger and stir well. The rub will still be fairly dry after you incorporate the two "wet ingredients".
Rub the meat 4 hours before you are going to start to cook.

Mango Salsa in its native state.

Mango Salsa

1 large fresh mango

1 cup of chopped frozen mango chunks (for a creamy texture)

1/2 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1 small jalapeno chile, cored, seeded and minced

1/4 cup minced red onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Chop, mince, juice and and combine the above ingredients (So easy, even a caveman could do disrespect to cavemen/women intended)

Asian Rainbow Cole Slaw

1/2 head green cabbage, sliced razor thin
1/2 head red cabbage, sliced razor thin
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chile paste
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 carrots, shredded
1 cup bean sprouts
6 scallions, julienned on the bias
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, for garnish
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, for garnish

Toss the cabbage together in a salad spinner. Sprinkle the cabbage with salt and let stand for 15 minutes. The salt draws out some of its moisture so that the slaw remains crunchy. After 15 minutes go ahead and spin the spinner to draw out the excess moisture and add the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl. You can have this salad ready to go and then dress just before eating.

In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, oil, chile paste, peanut butter, and ginger. Toss together with the cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts and scallions; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with sesame seeds before serving.

Brown Sugar Brine
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 garlic cloves (smashed)
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
1 quart water

Boil the water with the salt and sugar mixture for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat and add the lemon and garlic. Let cool to room temperature and add the chops. I brined the meat overnight.

These Pork Chops were 2" center cut chops.

You can see the relative scale of these "Fred Flinstone" Pork Chops. While I was happy with the results, when I do this again I will probably order 1 1/2" thick chops. Even chops this thick cook quickly and the total cook time was about 4 minutes per side on a hot grill and then another 8 minutes cook time with the chops cooking over indirect heat (not over the coals).


Cooking and the City said...

Looks good, I'm looking for different ideas with pork, mango salsa sounds like a way to go :-)

Norm Schoen said...

Brining pork chops is a great way to go. Also, you should give this rub a try. It is great with pork.

toontz said...

I have tagged you for a meme. You can trace this back to Ryan from The Leftover Queen! I am not going to take all the blame.

Anne said...

Awesome! I love the full menu posted, as well. Good luck!