Provided by Frank E. Vaerewijck, FF/EMT
“Any firefighter should know how, a good firefighter knows why.” This quote from an unknown source rings true not only in the fire service but also in the kitchen. It’s not enough to know the stages of a fire but why these stages occur; this helps us fight the fire fast and effective. The same with cooking; knowing how certain items go together will heighten the senses and bring out flavors that may have never been realized before. Lemon juice is one such ingredient that is used in many recipes that in the correct measured dose, you never taste, but the acid reacts with other flavored ingredients and releases their flavors that may have been masked if not for the fruit.
Imagine, if you will, you are trained to fight fire and you understand the concept of putting the wet stuff on the hot stuff. However, with more advanced knowledge of how water, the wet stuff reacts when introduced to heat, the hot stuff. You would know that water, with the help of that heat, turns to steam through the enthalpy of vaporization, which is the energy required to turn water into the gaseous form and that it increases in volume by 1,600 times. This change in volume allows us to use less water to put out more fires. When applied correctly, utilizing training and knowledge, a small room and contents fire can be extinguished with just the water in a small Water Can Extinguisher carried on most fire trucks. Now this is not saying we need to stop putting hoses on the ground, it just says that through training comes knowledge and knowledge is power.
Bored with the same old same old thin cut pork chops? Well, I set out to find something new. Utilizing my training and the power of the internet, I found many unusual recipes that combine pork chops, a little salt, some ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and Coca Cola to make a wonderful tasteful creation. Yes, you read that right, Coca Cola! Through my training in the kitchen and an understanding of what things are made of (knowledge), I understand that when the Coca Cola is reduced in the cooking process, the syrup creates a glaze. The ketchup and Worcestershire sauce combination only serves to intensify the taste of this dish. With a little crafting of my own, I present this month’s recipe, Coke Chops and “That’s Bringing the Firehouse Home”.
8 to 12 pork chops, thin to medium cut
½ bottle Coca Cola (or Pepsi, your preference)
½ cup ketchup
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Natural Sea Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
4 cloves Garlic, Pressed
In large pan, sprinkle salt on chops and brown lightly on both sides with pressed Garlic. Mix ingredients in bowl and once whisked together thoroughly add to pan and bring to boil. Reduce to low heat, cover and cook slowly for 25 minutes; be sure to cook meat through. Uncover and continue cooking for a few more minutes to thicken sauce. Glaze sauce over chops once plated and enjoy.