It's Fouth of July weekend, so
you're probably figuring I'm gonna do some column
on burger safety or gourmet hot dogs. Well,
you'd be wrong. Leave that safety shit to Al
Gore...did you see that wooden load checking
his meat with a thermometer. And this is the
man Democrats want to lead the free world into
the next century?
Politics aside, I said I was gonna
share my Martini Pork Chops recipe this
week, and I'm nothing if not a man of my word.
Now, I know what you're thinking.
It's the celebration of American independence,
the birth of our great nation, and I'm making
a recipe with ingredients that were -- allegedly
-- concocted by some Kraut living in Frogland.
Well, again you'd be wrong. Sure, popular legend
has it that The Martini was originated by German-born
composer JPA Schwarzendorf who later changed
his name to JPA Martini when a friend suggested
that he might fare better as an Italian composer.
course, since this was the 1700s there weren't
the ingredients we know in today's classic martini
-- gin and vermouth. Instead, his version was
made with 2 oz. genievre, 1 oz. dry white wine,
and pinch of ground cinnamon. While it doesn't
sound that bad, it's hardly the tongue-loosening
concoction I crave after a hard day of, uh,
whatever it is that I do.
There's a bunch of other myths,
legends, stories, and tall tales regarding the
creation of the martini, including Italian vermouth
merchants, an American bartender in Paris (now
that sounds more like it!), and a hotel in the
UK. But, I ain't buying any of 'em. Nope, I'm
goin' with my man Ed McMahon and the legend
he relates in Ed McMahon's Barside Companion:
- Before bridges spanned the
[San Francisco] bay, a ferry ran across to
the Oakland side, and to the town of Martinez.
This one fellow used to stop in at the Ferry
Building bar and order his favorite drink,
gin and vermouth, chilled and strained into
a big wine glass. "Quick!" he'd
say. "I gotta get to Martinez."
Other customers tried it and liked it. "Just
time for a Martinez," they'd say, and
the drink became known as a Martinez cocktail.
Somewhere along the line singular became martini
and plural martinis.
Not just a drink anymore, martini
ingredients can also be used to spice up your
favorite cut of meat. We made this recipe and
cooked it up on our stovetop grill pan and served
it with Roasted Potato Salad (both recipes are
shown below). Until next week, cheers!
Martini Pork Chops
4 center cut boneless pork chops
4 jiggers of gin
2 jiggers of vermouth
1 each medium red, yellow, and green bell pepper,
cored, seeded, and diced
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
Place chops in a deep dish and
rub with the olive oil. Place diced peppers
and sliced onion in dish, heaping them on top
of chops. Pour in gin and vermouth, and stir.
Cover chops and refrigerate overnight, turning
chops over and mixing liquid and veggies every
When you're ready to cook, oil
your grill pan (or prepare your barbecue grill
like normal). Reseason chops with salt and fresh
ground pepper, and place in grill pan. Sear
both sides and then cook each side for about
five minutes. Place reserved peppers and onion
mixture in pan and grill along with chops. Serve
chops with grilled veggies on top.
Roasted Potato Salad
2 lbs. potatoes
1 med. yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. dried parsley (or 1 tbsp. fresh)
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. light mayo
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
Peel and cut potatoes into quarters
and parboil in salted water for three minutes,
then drain. Mix the remaining ingredients, except
for the lemon rind and juice, in a large bowl.
Butter a baking dish and preheat oven to 450°.
Toss potatoes with herbs and stuff and add to
the baking dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
-- sprinkle grated lemon rind on top and return
to oven for five minutes, or until potatoes
are slightly browned and tender. Remove dish
from oven and allow potatoes to cool. Cut potatoes
into 1" chunks and toss in a bowl with
2 tbsp. light mayo and 1 tbsp. dijon mustard.
Cover and chill in fridge, garnish with chopped
dried or fresh parsley.
Makes 6-8 servings.