What’s Good Wednesday: “A Decade Ago”

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A Decade Ago….

The cookbook Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys was published. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined it would start a business—a family business—with one of the boys referred to in the title as my partner.

A decade ago…such a title (drawn solely from personal experience) hit the zeitgeist in the middle of an economic meltdown which saw many professionals out of a job, and into the kitchen out of necessity. Many families went from two paychecks to one or none, and feeding a family became a necessity for many who had little-to-no cooking skills.

A decade ago…I also had five people to feed daily—mostly ravenous growing young men. I wrote about it at night after the kids were in bed, and in the early morning before the dog walk and breakfast routine at the dinner table in our small and noisy New York City apartment. By day my job was Food Director for Martha Stewart, running a test kitchen of a dozen cooks that fed the content needs of magazines, books, TV, radio, digital and merchandise.

A decade ago…a seed was planted. Water the seed, prune the leaves, trust the process, and a plant will emerge. Nothing comes to market under the Mad Hungry brand without spending hard time in our working kitchen. Each tool must have multiple skills, as we have no time or place for a one-trick pony.

Thank you to every single person who has supported our business, and taken a chance on our products. Recipes, dinner ideas, food inspiration, and tastes of travel come to you daily on our instagram & facebook @madhungry –so if there is anything, anything you want to know about real, daily homecoming, you know where to find us (for those who are no in the social media realm, please reach out to hello@madhungry.com for any questions, comments, or concerns).

P.S. Shout out to @champagnepapi for the literary device inspiration #6ix

Recipe of the Week: Here’s one of the most delicious and popular recipes from that original, decade-old Mad Hungry book, one with only five ingredients. 

Pork Chops with Apples & Onions 

This simple dish was one of the first my eldest son requested the recipe for when he got his own kitchen. It’s easy to vary: Sometimes we replace the onions with leeks or add a sliced potato, and we have deglazed the pan with beer, white wine, chicken broth, or water. Soft sweet apples and savory onions combine with the salty pork for a tastiness that never disappoints. A big pot of rice, a couple of vegetables, and you have a generous and filling dinner. Serves 6

INGREDIENTS
6 bone-in pork chops (loin or shoulder), cut 3/4 inch thick
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large white onion, sliced
2 to 3 apples, cored and sliced (about 3 cups)
1 cup beer, white wine, cider, or chicken broth

DIRECTIONS

1) Trim the chops of excess fat. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a 14-inch cast-iron skillet (if you have a smaller one, you’ll need to work in batches) over high heat, and then swirl in the olive oil. Lay in the pork chops and don’t move them for a few minutes, to assure a good golden sear forms. Turn and brown well on the second side for a total of about 10 minutes. Transfer the chops to a warm plate.

2) Swirl the butter into the pan. Add the onion and apples. Saute until the onion slices are lightly caramelized and the apples have begun to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the beer or other liquid. Return chops to the pan.

3) Cook until the pork is tender, about 15 more minutes (depending on the size of the chops), turning halfway through and covering the chops with the apple mixture. If the apple mixture needs a little thickening, transfer the chops to the warm plate again and simmer the mixture on high for a few minutes to reduce. Serve the chops over rice or mashed potatoes with a large spoonful of the apple-onion mixture over the top.

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