Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Miso Hawaiian Chops






     Miso Hawaiian!      
     Pacific rim fusion cuisine has been popular since the 1990's.  Many great cooking ideas came from the creative fusion trend.  The western world chefs that took the time to learn how the Asian ingredients and cooking techniques were traditionally applied, seemed to fare better than those who did not.  A formal cross-cultural cuisine education enables chefs to design fusion food items that appeal to a wider marketing sector.     
     French Asian fusion cuisine can be sophisticated or very simple.  Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches are a good example of simple fusion cuisine at its best.  Another simple style that is still successful is fusion comfort food.  The Fat Choy Restaurant in Las Vegas is a prime example of how Asian cuisine flavors and cooking styles can be incorporated with classic American diner food to create comfortable new food items that appeal to a wide range of guests.         
     The theme for today's Miso Hawaiian Chops is a fusion of American diner style Hawaiian comfort food combined with Japanese ingredients.  In a classic American diner, Hawaiian style comfort food is usually pork chops with some kind of a sweet pineapple sauce that is thickened with corn starch and garnished with Maraschino Cherries.  This Hawaiian Pork Chops entrée was popular shortly after WWII and it is still offered as a "Blue Plate Special" at some diners to this day.
     Now that the dining public has become more sophisticated, more Asian ingredients can be incorporated into American diner style comfort food to create fusion comfort cuisine.  Most people are now familiar with Miso Paste, so this easy to recognize item is a good choice for flavoring pork chops.  Since the old diner style cornstarch thickened pineapple glaze for pork or ham is thoroughly worn out, creating something more appealing to take its place fits in with the modern fusion comfort food theme.  Even so, the main ingredient must be pineapple because of the association of this tropical fruit with Hawaii meets customer expectations.  
     Thinking up a flashy name for an entrée is part of the modern fusion comfort food game.  The word "Miso" has endless possibilities when applied in a fun entertaining way.  Fusion comfort food is meant to be fun and entertaining, especially when served in a modern noodle house restaurant atmosphere.  An entrée name like "Miso Hawaiian Chops" definitely sounds funny enough to capture the attention of guests!  

     Miso Marinated Pork Chops Preparation:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty portion.  (2 pork chops)
     Step 1:  Place 3 tablespoons of Red Miso Paste in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 cup of warm water while whisking.  
     Whisk till blended and smooth.
     Step 2:  Add 1 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 1 teaspoon of blended sesame oil.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Step 3:  Select 2 pork chops with the bone attached that weigh about 6 to 8 ounces apiece.  
     Place the pork chops in the marinade.
     Toss the pork chops with the marinade, so they are evenly coated.
     Place the pork chops and marinade in a container.  
     Marinate in a refrigerator for 1 hour.
     
     Cumin Spiced Potatoes:  
     This recipe yields 1 portion.  
     I chose Cumin Potatoes instead of rice for an accompaniment in the photo examples.  If you prefer rice, then by all means, skip this recipe and cook 1 portion of rice!   
     Step 1:  Cut 1 small 5 ounce peeled russet potato into thick slices.  
     Place the potato in a sauce pot with enough water to cover the potatoes.
     Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the water to a gentle boil.
     Blanch the potato till it is halfway cooked.
     Remove the pot from the heat.
     Drain the water off of the potato.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add the blanched potato slices.
     Sauté till a few golden highlights appear on the potatoes.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
     Gently sauté till the potatoes are fully cooked.
     Keep the Cumin Potatoes warm over very low heat.

     Spicy Pineapple Sauté Topping: 
     This recipe yields about 1 1/4 cups.  (1 generous portion)
     The Spicy Pineapple Topping should be made just before the pork chops are served. 
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Briefly sauté till the garlic and ginger is fragrant, but not browned.
     Step 2:  Add about 1/6 cup of julienne sliced Bermuda Onion.
     Add 1 julienne sliced red jalapeño pepper.  (Remove the seeds and pulp.)
     Sauté till the onions start to turn clear in color.
     Step 3:  Add 1 1/4 cups of large diced pineapple chunks.  (1/2" cubes)
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Sauté till a few light brown highlights appear. 
     Step 4:  Add 1/2 teaspoon of thin soy sauce.
     Add 1 ounce of dry rice wine. 
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
     Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar.
     Stir the ingredients as the liquid comes to a boil.
     Step 5:  Rapidly simmer and reduce till the excess liquid evaporates and the thin sauce glazes the pineapple chunks.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Keep the Spicy Pineapple Topping warm on a stove top. 
  
     Miso Hawaiian Chops:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty entrée.
     Modern fusion comfort food tends to be served as big hearty portions, just like old fashioned American diner food.  Today's Miso Hawaiian Chops entrée is big enough for 2 guests to share, if petite portions are preferred.  Sharing an entrée is an Asian social dining tradition.
     Step 1:  Heat a cast iron ribbed griddle or a chargrill to a medium/medium hot temperature.
     Brush the grill with oil.
     Step 2:  Remove the 2 pork chops from the Red Miso Paste Marinade and brush off any excess marinade.
     Place the pork chops on the chargrill.
     Grill the miso marinated pork chops till they are marked with a cross-check pattern on both sides.
     *Only mark the pork chops with grill marks at this time.    
     Step 3:  Place the marked grilled pork chops on a roasting pan.
     Place the pan in a 325ºF oven.
     Roast till the pork chops are fully cooked.
     Remove the pan from the oven and keep it warm on a stove top.   
     Step 4:  Mound the Cumin Potatoes (or steamed rice) on the center of an oval serving plate.
     Place the Miso Pork Chops on opposite sides of the plate, so the bones lean against the potatoes.
     Mound a generous portion of the Spicy Pineapple Sauté Topping over the pork chop bones and potatoes on the center of the plate.
     Garnish with a sprig of Italian Parsley or cilantro.

     Fusion comfort food makes miso hungry!      

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