Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cooking Sundays: Cooking to Knit By -The Black Dog Tavern

Hi-dee ho, people.
It's Cooking Sundays: Cooking to Knit By (among other things)... on a Tuesday, lol.
Well, my time clock has always been a bit on the late side.

First up: an obvious favorite - The Black Dog Tavern's Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook.

If you're not familiar with The Black Dog, probably, hands-down, the most famous of all island eateries (think Presidential presents - does that ring a bell?), it is best known for welcoming locals and tourists to the waterside establishment for crazy-good food and great atmosphere.

The Tavern was named after the long-loved black lab companion of one recently arrived Captain Robert Douglas. The Capt. opened the Tavern on a wintry New Years Day in 1971, after having found that there was, in fact, no good, all-winter-open restaurant on the island.

Inside the Tavern you will find exactly what you would expect of a seaside eatery - a rough-hewn building filled with all sorts of Capt. Douglas's sea-faring memorabilia. As for the main fare, everything is fresh, and most local caught and bought. 

This particular cookbook, the first of two, features favorite summer recipes and good cooking tips, to boot.

Since I'm always looking to build more knitting time into my schedule, I am usually in search of either a quick-prep, quick-cook or an easy-prep slow cook, or... someone else to do the cooking. :)

This recipe, Grilled Pork Cutlets with Maple Chipotle Glaze appealed to me on two levels: first, it was quick, but creative (who even knew Chipotle powder existed??) and second, you could either cook on the grill or in the oven - rendering it a good year-round go-to recipe. All you have to do is add a simple salad, some rice and let the glaze speak for itself.

PS: I was terribly afraid the chipotle glaze would be too spicy for the kids, who were eating with us that evening, so I modified the recipe to offer a less-spicy version. I did make the original glaze, but after tasting before glazing, decided to modify. In retrospect I will use it next time, as during the cooking process the chili powder lost a lot of its spicy nature. I am sure if the glaze were used as in my mods, but keeping the chipotle powder, it would be perfect.
Never challenge a great cook's recipes, lol!


Black Dog's Vermont Maple Syrup Pork Chops and modifications

2 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 ½ tsp. chipotle powder
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbs. cold water
1 ½ pounds pork cutlets, ¾ in. thick
salt and pepper

with modifications:
use 1 tsp. chili powder instead of chipotle
add 2 Tbs. worcestershire sauce
add 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
salt to taste
½ tsp. pepper or less, to taste

Servings/Yield: 6 servings

If using grill - preheat.
In a small saucepan, bring maple syrup, chicken stock, chipotle powder and thyme to a boil.
In a small jar mix the cornstarch and water together. Put the lid on and shake vigorously. This is an easy way to make sure the slurry combines. It should have the consistency of whole milk.
Pour the cornstarch slurry into the boiling glaze mixture and reduce to a simmer.
Cook about two minutes until it becomes clear and thickens.
Season the cutlets with salt and pepper and brush with a little canola oil.
Grill cutlets 3-5 minutes per side, brushing the glaze on while cooking.

This is how I modified the recipe
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat butter in pan in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
Pat dry the cutlets with paper towels.
Brown pork chops each side in a sauté pan.
Cook just enough to brown, then remove from pan and place in a high-sided baking dish or roasting pan. (If your pork chops are very thin and have cooked through, skip the oven and tent them loosely with foil while making sauce.)

I added vinegar, switched out the chipotle powder for chili powder, added pepper and worcestershire sauce to the sauce recipe.
Bring the vinegar, chili powder, pepper, maple syrup and worcestershire sauce to a boil. Add the cornstarch/water slurry and reduce to a simmer.
Cook about two minutes until it becomes clear and thickens.
Pour the sauce over the chops in the baking dish.
Lower heat to 350 degrees F and bake uncovered 10 - 15 minutes, or until interior of pork reaches 145 degrees.
Place the pork chops on a serving platter and pour sauce over. Reserve some for use at the table. Or better yet, double the sauce recipe!
Add salad and rice for a complete meal.
Serves 6.

Have a Spicy One. :)


  1. This sounds wonderful. I love pork chops baked in a sauce and I love chipotle...I will keep that seasoning in when I try it.

  2. Oh, Patricia! I'm so glad you are going to try this recipe! It was very, very good - the chops were not dry and chewy, they were just perfect. And I would experiment with adding the chipotle in a little at a time to taste. One cook's spicy can be another cook's YIKES, lol. I also think that doing them on a grill would make the glaze caramelize - in the oven that was less so, but still delish! Bon Appetit. :)