The fruit of the day is plums

August 3, 2010

Appetizer. (Or, I guess, it could be dessert.)

This, I am sorry to report, was not all that exceptional. Just OK.

Annnnnndddd -- the main event!

This, on the other hand, was freakin’ awesome. Yes, we’re talking Sweet Baby Jesus territory. We’re talking “Damn, I’m good!”  We’re talking I want to take a bath in this sauce.

Well, not really. Because this sauce has a healthy portion of some significantly hot chiles in it, and it would probably be really uncomfortable on portions of my anatomy that might get dipped in it in a bath situation.

Never mind.

In a serendipitous juxtaposition (howzat for a couple of two-dollar words) of seasonality, the Food 52 theme of the week is plums, which are also proliferating all over the Farmers’ Market. So, after a layoff of a week (I don’t think I entered anything last week, but I don’t remember what the theme was, either), I figured it was time I got back in the competitive mainstream.

I’m not a big dessert person, as regular readers have probably figured out. And I’m pretty much a minimalist when it comes to fruit desserts. But I do love combos of sweet and hot, as well as fruit and pork. So I figured I’d put plums in a starring role with some pork, particularly after I found some really nice, thin-sliced boneless loin chops at Kroger.

I love a thin, boneless loin chop, because you can get your iron skillet really hot, with just a little oil in it, and you can sizzle that baby brown on one side, brown on the other, and boom, he’s done, crispy on the outside, still tender and not dried out on the inside. It doesn’t take more than five minutes to cook a pork chop like this, as long as it’s about a half-inch thick.

So I made the sauce ahead of time. I knew I wanted plums and chipotle pepper, so I threw two plums, a chipotle in adobo, some honey and some water in a saucepan and brought it to boil while I pondered what was next.

I wanted some pepper complexity. So I reached for the powdered ancho chile, and for the smoked paprika. It needed a third major theme, so I peeled and roughly crushed a couple of garlic cloves and threw those in. Hit it with a dash of salt and simmered it for a little, until the plums broke down. Then I buzzed it with my immersion blender, put it back on low heat, and tasted again.

H’mm. A little…flat. Added just a tiny pinch more salt, and on a whim, grabbed the cruet of balsamic vinegar and gave it a shake or two. Tasted again. Yeah!

Added some heavy cream, stirred it up, kept it warm while I fried up the pork chops and peeled and sliced another plum, of which I ate half. Cook’s privilege.

Put all the component pieces together, and …. swoon. Damn, y’all, that was GOOD! I have lots of that sauce left over, and I’m thinking it’d be wonderful over shrimp and rice, chicken, or God-knows-what. It’s pretty wonderful. It sort of reminds me of the ancho cream sauce I had at Cafe Pacific in Dallas, with the addition of the plums.

The dessert plums were broiled with blue cheese, thyme and honey. Meh. They were OK.

Word of warning. When you taste the sauce after you blend it, it will taste pretty damn hot, depending on how liberal you are with your peppers. Don’t worry. The cream will settle the heat down into a lovely, warm glow. Which is about the last freakin’ thing we needed tonight, when at 8 p.m. it’s still 96 degrees. Because, you see, we are having our sixth straight day of triple digit temps. It was 106 today, supposed to be the same tomorrow. To quote a fine old LA saying, it’s hotter’n two rats fucking in a wool sock.

You and y’mama ‘n ’em stay cool.

One Response to “The fruit of the day is plums”

  1. Pamela Coulter Says:

    You are so crazy. Trish and I laugh til we cried. Love reading this every morning. LOl

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