Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pork burgers with creamed corn

This combination of dishes was fun to make and came by way of a couple of inspired ideas (mine).

First, the pork: I had some bone-in pork loin chops which weighed a total of exactly 1 pound. After the bones and fat were removed the remains weighed 12 oz., an ideal amount for 2 burgers.

I got the idea to render the fat and bones in a sauté pan and use the fat to fry the sage leaves briefly and then sauté the onion for the creamed corn in the fat. If you happen to use boneless chops you could still trim the fat and use it as described.

As for the radishes, the use of them occurred to me while searching through our greens drawer in the fridge. I love sautéed radishes, having originally been turned on to them by Lydia Bastianich. And since pork burgers get cooked all the way through, the radishes suffused them with their own delicate flavor – all the pepperiness cooks out of the radishes.

You could use more onion for the creamed corn if you wish (maybe ½ an onion), but ¼ onion was what we had and seemed sufficient to me. Also, we had half-and-half but no heavy cream. Cream would indeed be preferable. One more thing: use a seeded jalapeno if you don’t have Hatch chiles.

Pork burgers
12 oz. ground pork
4 medium radishes
4 sage leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil

Trim 1 lb. bone-in pork loin chops of all bones and fat. Chop the meat in a food processor. Remove to a bowl and chop the radishes very fine. Add to the pork.

Use trimmings as below for creamed corn. After the fat has rendered, fry the sage leaves in it for 1 minute. Break up into the ground meat. Mix the sage and radishes into the pork with your hands. Form into 2 burgers. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the burgers 4-5 minutes per side until cooked all the way through.

Creamed corn
Fat trimmings from pork chops or 1 slice bacon
¼ medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 lb. frozen corn kernels
1 chopped Hatch chile, skin and seeds removed
1/3 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup half-and-half or heavy cream

Render the pork fat (or bacon) and set the bits aside. Saute the onion and garlic over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until softened but not browned.

Deglaze the pan with chicken stock and add the corn and chile. Season with salt and white or black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for a few (3-4) minutes.
Add the half-and-half or cream and bring back to a simmer. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

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