Pork Chops and Marion Blackberry Sauce, Sweet Potato Parsnip Mash and Roasted Broccolini with Chef Tom
Tom cooks up giant, juicy pork chops with a sweet and tangy marionberry-blackberry sauce served on a bed of mashed sweet potato and parsnip. On the side, we’ve got roasted broccolini with garlic. And to start, sautéed shishito peppers. This meal is to die for! Super simple, super tasty.
Q1 - What’s one tool in the kitchen you wish you had and why?
Would a Sous-Chef count as a tool? That would be the one thing I wish I had full time :). Other than that, I wish I had a digital meat thermometer that would last and maintain its accuracy. Meat thermometers are so important in many meals. I’ve tried various ones and they all measure accurately for a while, and then seem to fail. I recently bought a Meater bluetooth meat thermometer that I’m waiting to try out.
Q2 - What’s your biggest meal disaster?
I’ve had plenty of disasters… if you cook long enough, you have a long list. Its hard to pick the biggest one … . One time I was cooking some 3 inch thick grass fed bone-in ribeye steaks. Beautiful pieces of meat. I smoked them for 45 minutes, reverse seared them in avocado oil, and then finished them in the oven. They were supposed to come out just below medium rare. The digital thermometer showed an internal temperature of 125, so I took them out. After they rested for a while, I cut into them for slicing and serving. They were all well done (see my prior complaint about digital thermometers). Yuck!
Q3 - What’s one thing you would like to learn how to make?
I feel like the number of foods that I would like to learn how to make is endless. I’m blessed with the ability to follow (and enhance) almost any recipe upon which I stumble. I am definitely into cooking with healthy fats, no lactose and minimal grains and starches. I find all sorts of recipes and make substitutions galore to play around with my definition of healthy. I tend to follow a more paleo diet and cooking style and am always looking to enhance my knowledge of grain free and lactose free meals. I also love picking up new recipes from ethnic cultures like Puerto Rico (to name one as an example) to continually try something new.
Q4 - If there was one dish you would teach your kid to make, what would it be?
I’m not sure I could pick any one recipe to teach my kids. I think the focus for my kids is more on teaching them to use quality ingredients and be thoughtful about what they cook and eat. They’ve learned through example about what foods, oils, and spices we buy and how we cook with them. I want them to understand the importance of how this impacts their health and their ability to live a long and healthy life.
Q5 - What does it mean to you as a dad to cook for your family?
Being a dad and cooking for my family is one of my greatest joys. As anyone who cooks know, it takes a lot of time to shop, prepare and cook a good meal. While some meals can be simple and prepared quickly, and some take longer ….. they all are eaten in about the same amount of time. There is nothing better than when your family tastes a meal and tells you how great it is. I love the fact that my family is able to eat healthy and enjoy (what I believe) is high quality food. For me personally, I love the process of cooking and putting together a meal that is full of surprises and great tastes.