Flay joined The Early Show on Thursday for part four of its series on "Culinary Inspirations." He demonstrated some of his mother's best recipes, adding a touch of his own flair. On the menu: pan roasted double-cut pork chops with homemade applesauce, Mexicali corn, and butterscotch pudding.
Cotija is also known as Queso Anejado or "aged cheese". The curd is aged and sold in small rounds or large blocks. When it is produced, it is a hard-ripened cheese with a closed texture, providing a distinctively salty flavor. This pungent cheese comes in a moist version, a bit like feta. The more common version is very firm, more like Parmesan. The cheese can be crumbled and used in tacos, soups, salads or over beans. It can be served as a topping or an ingredient for chili, enchiladas, lasagna, pasta, refried beans or salad dishes. Parmesan, anejo, or feta cheese can be substituted when cotija is not available. This cheese is also known as Queso Anejado.
Double-Cut Pork Chops: Chops are smaller cuts from the loin primal cut. They are individual serving cuts that are sliced to various thicknesses. Depending on the size, one or two chops can be served as a single serving. Single chops may vary from 1/2" to 1 1/2" thick and double rib chops may be as thick as 2 inches. The thickness chosen will depend on how they will be prepared and the appetites to be satisfied. They are available fresh, smoked and bone-in or boneless, varying in quality and composition according to their location on the loin.
Pan Roasted Double-Cut Pork Chops with Homemade Applesauce
4 double center-cut pork chops, with or without the bone
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large oven-proof sauté pan over high heat. Season chops on both side with salt and pepper.
3. Place chops in the pan and cook until golden brown, flip over and transfer to the oven.
4. Roast in the oven until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the chop reaches 150 degrees.
5. Transfer chops to a plate and tent with foil. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Calvados or Apple Jack brandy
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
1. Combine apple juice and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add the Calvados and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the apples and cinnamon. Cook until slightly softened but some of the shape of the apple remains, about 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the butter. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.