Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Grilled Smoked Pork Chop with Laverbread, Bacon Bits and Mushrooms

    A Good Smoked Pork Chop With Healthy Welsh Laverbread!
    In Welsh Celtic language, Bara Lawr translates to Laverbread.  Laver is a dark purplish green seaweed that clings to rocks.  Laver is also called Nori in Japanese language.  Sheets of Roasted Nori Seaweed can be used to make Laverbread, if fresh Laver is not available. 
     Prepared Laver has a rich flavor.  Laver is usually cooked down, till it becomes a thick paste consistency.  Nori seaweed is prepared in a similar way, before it is roasted. 
    The health benefits of laver seaweed are well known.  Laver is loaded with vitamins and minerals.  Laver contains a high concentration of Iodine.  Iodine fights certain types cancer and it gets rid of heavy metal toxins that accumulate in soft internal organs.  

     Cheap low quality smoked pork chops are not really smoked.  An artificial smoke flavor is added to the light brine.  Grocery stores and low budget restaurants usually sell cheap artificial smoked pork chops.  
     Good butcher shops sell lightly cured pork chops or plain pork chops that have been slow smoked the old fashioned way.  I recently purchased a couple of good smoked pork chops at a butcher shop in Las Vegas.  I figured that the flavor of a smoked pork chop would go well with Laverbread.  
     Eggs, lamb, mutton or beef are traditionally served with Laverbread in Wales.  Wales is sheep farming country, so the top choice of accompanying meat for Laverbread is mutton or lamb.  Smoked Pork is a nice choice too and it adds a rustic flavor. 

     *This entire recipe yields 1 hearty entrée!

     Bacon Bits:
     Cut 2 1/2 strips of bacon into small square shpes.
     Sauté or grill the bacon bits over medium/medium low heat.
     Drain the grease off of the bacon bits and keep them warm on a stove top.
     *Save the bacon grease for later in the recipe!

     This recipe yields one large portion!
     Sheets of roasted nori seaweed were used to make this laverbread.  Old fashioned pressed oats are a better choice than steel cut oats for this recipe.  The seaweed mixture must be cooked down to a thick paste consistency, so patties can be formed.
     Step 1:  Boil 1 quart of water in a sauce pot over high heat.
     Add 5 sheets of roasted nori seaweed.  (The sushi wrap stuff!)
     Add 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats.  
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Bring the liquid back to boil.
     Step 2:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Simmer and reduce, till the laverbread mixture becomes a thick paste. 
     Remove the pot from the heat. 
     Step 3:  Allow the laverbread to cool to room temperature. 
     Chill the laverbread in a refrigerator, till it becomes firm.  
     Step 4:  Place about 1 cup of dry oats in a mixing bowl.
     Form the laverbread into a large patty shape.
     Place the patty on the oats and coat both sides.
     Step 5:  Heat a cast iron griddle or skillet over medium low heat.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of bacon grease or lard. 
     Gently pan fry the laverbread on both sides, till it is hot and the oats are crispy golden brown.  Try to only flip the laverbread once.  
     *If the patty needs repacking after flipping, then reshape it with a spatula.  
     Keep the laverbread warm on a stove top.
     Mushroom Garnish:
     Cut 2 medium size button cave mushrooms into thick slices.
     Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Sauté the mushrooms, till they become tender.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Keep the mushrooms warm on a stove top.

     Grilled Smoked Pork Chop:
     Lightly brush an 8 ounce smoked pork chop with unsalted butter.
     Heat a char grill or ribbed cast iron griddle to a medium/medium high temperature.  
     Grill the smoked pork chop on both sides, till it is heated to a warm serving temperature and grill marks appear.

     Grilled Smoked Pork Chop with Laverbread, Bacon Bits and Mushrooms:
     Place the laverbread on the back half of a plate.
     Lean the smoked pork chop against the laverbread.
     Place the mushroom slices on the plate in a semi circle pattern around the pork chop.
     Cascade the bacon bits over the laverbread and on the plate.
     Cascade thin bias sliced green onion over the laverbread and over the bacon bits on the plate.
     Serve with a potato of your choice on the side.

     Welsh style comfort food! 

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