Recently I received some free samples of a few of the food products that Chef Emeril Lagasse has on the market. I was already a big fan of his Original Essence, a great all purpose seasoning. In full disclosure (since I already copped to getting free stuff) I once worked for Emeril. Many, many years ago, when I was finishing culinary school I did my internship at The Food Network test kitchens. I was then offered a job on the “Emeril Live” show, and being that my parents did not raise a fool, I jumped at the chance! I literally had four days to fly back to San Francisco, pack my stuff, get my cats and move to New York City! Here is a picture of me from “Emeril’s TV Dinners” cookbook, when I was much younger and had a lot less hair.
Don’t I look like a hard working gal? Well, I was and still am, but that’s another post. And they must have just forgotten to mention me in the caption…
As I said, I usually have a bottle of Emeril’s Original Essence in the pantry, because it really is a great multi-purpose seasoning, and I don’t always have time to make my own rubs and marinades. A little sprinkle of Essence on chicken, pork, turkey, ground meats or veggies can make a big difference in the taste of your dish. (Damn, I’m starting to sound like a commercial!) Anyhoo, along with the Essence I also received a sample of Emeril’s Kicked Up Horseradish Mustard. I’m a big fan of horseradish as well as mustard, so what could be wrong? Nothing in this case, because this mustard was quite tasty. I had a flavor epiphany after tasting the mustard, and decided to make mustard crusted pork chops. But not just any mustard crusted pork chops, these would be a la Emeril! BAM!
Mustard Crusted Pork Chops a la Emeril
*This recipe can be easily doubled to make 4 pork chops, or for a small loin roast
2 TB Emeril’s Kicked Up Horseradish Mustard
2 TB extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp Emeril’s Original Essence
1 tsp unsulfered molasses
2 boneless pork loin chops, about 1″ thick
1/2 cup water
In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, 1 TB olive oil, Essence and molasses. Rub the marinade on both side of the chops, and let them marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes to overnight. As with most marinades, the longer the better.
When you are ready to cook the chops heat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large oven proof skillet over a medium flame, heat the remaining 1 TB of olive oil. Brown the pork chops for 4-5 minutes.
A good kitchen rule of thumb for browning is to let the pan let you know when to turn the meat. What does this mean? If you try and pick up the meat, and you get resistance or the meat feels stuck, let it keep browning. When a good crust has formed, the pan will release the meat.
When browned on the first side, turn the chops over, add the water carefully to the pan, and place the skillet in the oven. Cook the pork for 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F.
When the pork chops are done, remove them from the oven. Place the chops onto a plate, and let them rest for at least 10 minutes before eating.
I suggest serving these chops with buttery mashed potatoes, and sauteed kale or greens.