When I read a tip that came out of America’s Test Kitchen I immediately believe it and put it to use. When I read a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen I believe it must be amazing and have the best methods of cooking whatever it is. I’d like to get a job there. Or at least spend a day or two there, just observing the amount of thought, effort, time and testing that goes into everything. It makes me kind of excited to think about it all!
They do what I only wish I had the time, money, energy and intelligence to. Want to know the best kind of cookie sheet to buy? Ask the test kitchen. They’ve already put all the brands out there through a battery of tests and know which gives the best browning and texture while not warping in the oven and doesn’t cost a fortune. Want to know the best kind of cocoa powder? Ask the test kitchen. They’ve already tasted and baked with them all. You won’t have to make a bad batch of chocolate cookies that burned on your poor quality cookie sheets! Now some people don’t like the specificity and scientific bent in their articles and think that maybe they’re too engrossed in the food or the recipe to consider the home cook. Like who has time to check the temperature of their butter before they use it in the perfect pound cake? I’ve made that pound cake, and I took its temperature and it was spectacular. But does it make that much of a difference? If the test kitchen says so, then it must.
The only reason I bring it up is that this recipe came from a cookbook from The Test Kitchen called The Six-Ingredient Solution. What a genius idea! I love when a recipe is uncomplicated in its ingredients. It makes grocery shopping and life just a little bit easier. But I guess this actually has 8 including pepper and water called for in the directions…still 8 ingredients ain’t bad. And they turn out a stellar dinner.
I don’t cook pork chops. I’ll often cook a pork tenderloin in the oven or Ben will grill one. I worry about under-cooking pork, and so in an effort to not under-cook it I end up worrying about over-cooking it and making it dry and tough. I am happy to say that this meal yielded really delicious pork chops that were cooked pretty well. I got the thumbs-up from Ben on it! But I did have trouble getting it to temperature during the searing. I did 3 minutes per side and it was only at 120°F. Once it got to 130 I took it off and let it cook the rest of the way in the sauce, which worked well. It’s not the way they instruct in the original recipe, but it worked for me.
I’ve never cooked bok choy before, and I think I’ve only had it once or twice. So this was a step out of my comfort zone in more than one way. It cooks quickly and has good amounts of vitamins A and C. I really enjoyed it and found it to be a perfect side for this meal. Some people may not be a fan of the texture. Sub broccoli for the bok choy if you’d like. Steam it and serve it on the side.
I HAVE cooked rice before. Lots of rice. So it was the only part of the meal I was able to put on the stove and know was going to be edible. And, to be honest, I kind of liked the thought of a big bowl of buttered rice for dinner. But what we had was much better and more well balanced.
The sauce is amazing, and how could it not be? It’s delicious on the pork, bok choy and rice. I think it would be a great sauce for chicken as well. The sauce ingredients here are what they call for for 4 chops and 4 bok choy, so if you do decide to make this recipe for 4, I’d suggest doubling the sauce. You might end up with extra, but it would be a shame to run out! Enjoy!
Coca Cola Hoisin Pork Chops with Baby Bok Choy
- 1 3/4 cups sushi (short grain) rice
- 2 thick cut bone-in pork chops (8 ounces, 3/4 inch thick)
- 2 heads baby bok choy
- 1 cup coca cola
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- black pepper
- Halve bok choy lengthwise and set aside.
- Pat pork chops dry with paper towels, then cut 2 small slits through the fat on the side of each pork chop. Season both sides with ground black pepper and set aside.
- Whisk cola, hoisin and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl and set aside.
- Combine rice with 2 1/4 cups of water and a pinch of salt in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.
- While rice is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add bok choy, cut side down. Watch out for oil spatters! Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of water, cover and cook for another minute until stems are just tender. Transfer to a plate and cover.
- Wipe out the skillet with paper towels and adjust heat to medium high. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet, then add pork chops and cook 3-5 minutes per side, until the temperature is 130-135, then move to a plate.
- Wipe out skillet again, keep heat at medium high and add the cola mixture. Whisk until slightly thickened then add chops and any juice on the plate back to the pan. Turn the chops to coat them with the sauce, then cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Check temperature of the chops, they should register 145°F.
- Plate chops, bok choy (pretty browned sides up) and rice. Drizzle bok choy with sauce from the pan. Serve with extra sauce.