Veterans Day Recipe

This may seem a little odd because cooking and Veterans Day really don’t go together but my Dad was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and I am reminded of him every day because I keep his cap on top of the bookcase if full view. He served on board the U.S.S. Acadia during the late 50s.

He never talked about his days in the Navy, other than the occasional mishap in the kitchen and his frolics at various ports. His lifelong friend, Freddie King, Sr., of Millinocket, Maine, is a constant reminder of my father’s past and his enduring legacies that he carved out during the days before I was born. I ran into a man by the name of Tim Dickey at the Harvest Festival in Bangor and he related to me what everyone says when I speak, I sound exactly like my Dad, Jack Bailey, the second Yankee Chef. I honor that resemblance and I feel honored to be part of his past every time I run into a friend of his.

Dad’s favorite spice in the world was pepper, black or white pepper. Because of his sodium restrictions during the course of the last few years of his life, he relied heavily on spices that didn’t warrant more medication or a trip to the hospital, and pepper was something he could enjoy without limitations. I would like to give you his favorite pork dish during this Holiday season and especially as a remembrance of him on Veteran’s Day.


Pork Chops au Poivre

Steak au Poivre , French for ‘with pepper’, Classically, this steak is seared very quickly in a hot skillet so that the outside layer of peppercorns form a great tasting crust while the inside stays about medium-rare.My father told me that he chose sour cream over the traditional heavy cream in the sauce because of the pungent kick it gives, more so than mustard, which is also generally used.

2 t. cracked black pepper
1/2 t. salt, divided
Four 4-oz. boneless pork chops, 1/2-inch thick, trimmed*
1/4 c. flour
3 T. olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1/2 c. brandy
1/2 c. sour cream

Combine pepper and 1/4 t. salt in a small bowl. Pat the mixture onto both sides of each pork chop. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge each chop in the flour, shaking off any excess.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops, reduce heat to medium and cook until browned and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add shallot to the pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add brandy and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the pork chops with the sauce.