Many Great Home Cooks Food 52

Another new cookbook is here and it is one that I have been anxiously waiting to see. The Food52 Cookbook: 140 winning recipes from exceptional home cooks is just that. Recipes from great cooks at  home. There are many I want to try but I settled on the cider brined pork with calvados, mustard and thyme by Oui, chef. I have been feeling like I was in a cooking rut and I needed to try something different. And so I did. Here is the recipe.

Serves 2

Cider Brine:

2 cups apple cider

1 1/2 cup water

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

3 sprigs fresh thyme


Chops and Pan Sauce:

2 1″ thick, bone-in center cut pork chops (I used pork tenderloins)

1/4 cup calvados (I didn’t have calvados so I used brandy)

1 shallot, finely minced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely minced

1/3 cup apple cider

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place all brine ingredients in a medium saucepan, and stir over low heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Place chops in a single layer in a shallow pan, cover fully with brine, wrap and refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, remove the chops from the brine, rinse well under cold water, and dry with paper towels before continuing.
  3. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Add pork to skillet and sauté until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate; cover with foil and keep warm.
  4. Pour off excess oil, and deglaze the pan with the calvados over medium heat , scraping the bottom of the pan well, letting the brandy reduce to a glaze. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet over medium heat and add the shallots and thyme, and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in cream and cider; boil until mixture thickens to sauce consistency, about 3 minutes. Stir in mustard, season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and serve with the pork.

Now as you can see, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I didn’t have any pork chops but I did have a couple of pork tenderloins. I also didn’t have calvados but I did have brandy. I served this with some roasted broccoli and it was so scrumptious. I had also made some biscuits and I am very glad I did. This recipe makes a ton of sauce and you will want to have something to mop up all that deliciousness.

So, if you are looking for a cookbook with some great recipes from home cooks, you have to got to look at this cookbook.  And speaking of cookbooks, don’t forget that on January 12, we will be starting a new book club, Cooking by the Book. It starts at 7:00 pm in the Anton Room. We will be talking about and sampling some great food from another cookbook, Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson. I hope to see you there. Happy Cooking!!


Kathy is a former employee and wrote some great posts including the series All Booked Up.