Playing it safe isn't always good. This can be said when you are cooking or going out to eat. For example, my mom and I were recently in New York City.
Have you ever wondered what the contestants ate while filming for "Masterchef"? Well, we ate whatever was available at the hotel. That got old after a while so we decided to order in one night. Faruq suggested we order from his favorite Indian restaurant. I can't think of the name now, but anyway I had never had Indian cuisine at this point. I decided that I wouldn't order anything off the menu but would just try a little of everyone else's food. Faruq ordered plenty of extra food especially naan, Indian bread. I loved everything I tried! I couldn't remember the names of anything except saag paneer (or creamed spinach). I decided to order Indian food from the same restaurant when my parents and I were in Los Angeles last. They enjoyed it!
Back to NYC! So my mom said let's do it. We should go to Bhatti Indian Grill for dinner. The restaurant is located in the heart of Little India. The ambience is quaint and chic. We ordered
The Tandoori Chicken was so packed with flavor. It has to be the most flavorful chicken I have ever had. Then I dipped into the spinach, cauliflower, and shrimp dishes. I almost don't have words to describe how good all of those dishes tasted. The shrimp had a spice to it that made you want more. The cauliflower had a butter flavor and the spinach was creamy and delish. I used the naan to sop up any sauce left on my plate. Sheetal shared with me that traditionally Indian cusine is eaten with your hands using naan.
I left Bhatti Indian Grill with inspiration to use some of their flavor combinations in my own cooking. So I did just that.
I decided to prepare pork chops for dinner last night but I wanted to pack in a lot of flavor into them. I combined several spices with plain yogurt, lemon juice, crushed garlic and ginger, and salt. I allowed the butterflied pork chops to marinade in the yogurt mixture for about 2 hours. Meanwhile, I prepared my stuffing which was cubed green apple, green tomato, and leek. I sauteed these ingredients in butter over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the green apples were soft. I then seasoned the vegetables and fruit with salt. I removed the pork chops and wiped off the excess marinade. I stuffed each pork chop with the green apple mixture and secured with toothpicks.
You want to be sure to grease your grill pan and heat it over medium-high heat. Once hot, I placed the pork chops into the grill pan (toothpicks sticking up). After 5 minutes, I removed the toothpicks and carefully flipped the pork chops over. Cook the pork chops for another 5 minutes. I removed the pork chops from the grill pan and placed into a baking dish. Lastly, I brushed the rest of the marinade over the pork chops and baked them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15-18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pork chops.
Voila! Dinner is served!
served with sweet potato cakes