Sunday, 25 August 2013

Chop-Chop, Snip-Snip

Cotolette di Mailale con Albicocca, Timo & Pastinacca e Carotta
Pork Cutlets with Apricot & Thyme, with Parsnip & Carrot

Indeed, there was a little chopping involved to get supper together this evening, but it was worth it! Of course I am joking... and of course, many of you would use some kind of kitchen gadget to chop up the carrots and parsnips to make this yummy side dish- but I actually enjoy the chopping! I wonder if the unknown cook who is now immortalized for having cut his vegetables in such thin strips used to enjoy it was well? In any case, this cut of vegetables, "Julienne" or "in the style of Julien" was what made it special... So Thank's Julien! You did a good thing!

And I did a good thing, by combining the tangy, rich parsnips with the sweet and light carrots- it was a treat to have both strong flavors blended together that way. Better still, the contrast to the sweet apricot and then the fresh thyme on top- it just took these simple little slices of pork up to a whole new level- oh yes indeed!

I started off by peeling the carrot and parsnips- just one regular carrot and 2 parsnips for this serving- parsnips tend to be rather small and I wanted an equal amount of each. To cut the julienne, I first cut the carrot into thirds lengthways- just to make the pieces easier to handle- and then trimmed the parsnips to the same length.

I took one slice off the vegetables- this flat surface would serve as my base, so that the carrots of parsnips did not slip and roll around whilst chopping. I then began to cut thin slices from the carrots and parsnips, which I then stacked up and laid out on the chopping board, nice and flat again, so there would be no danger of slipping- it's easy really. I then cut equally thin stripes from the flat slices... et voila! Julienne!

I fried the julienne in just a teaspoon of clarified butter at a high heat, tossing them constantly and making sure that all surfaces got nice and hot and had a chance to brown. I seasoned with pepper, a pinch of sugar and a light dusting of nutmeg- I wanted to season with salt last of all- right before serving. I added a very light squeeze of lime juice and tossed it in, flipping the julienne over and over to get it evenly mixed and evenly roasted... and after 9-10 minutes they were tangy from the lime, spicy from the pepper and nutmeg and sweet from Mother Nature :-) The salt would be added at the end... so for now- on with the show!

The pork went into a hot pan with a pat of clarified butter, a clove of garlic. I added a few sprigs of thyme, 1 apricot cut into slices, a Spring onion cut into 3 pieces and a good pinch of salt and pepper. I gave the pork 2-3 minutes from each side and then deglazed the pan with a splash of cider. 

Once the cider had evaporated away and the pork had begun to brown again, I was ready to plate up and almost ready to enjoy- but not before adding that all-important pinch of sea salt to the parsnips and carrots... and a drizzle of honey to the pork! Yum!

So this was a simple dish- but the individual elements go together so well! Trust me, try it- and you won't deny it! Have fun and enjoy!


  1. Thanks for providing such a great article, it was excellent and very informative.
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  2. Glad you are enjoying the blog Dimz! Hope you like the other recipes too! :-) Francesco