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  • deborahreinhardt

Turn the humble pork chop into a succulent supper using brewed coffee and maple syrup.


four pork chops with coffee and syrup glaze
Coffee and Maple Glazed Pork

Throughout January, we’ve explored ways to trim our food bills. Meatless meals like Penne with Cannellini and Greens, and Mushroom and Spinach Casserole are proof that vegetables and beans can be a frugal home cook’s best friend. Syrian chef Mawda Altayan shared her recipe for Ouzi Rice, a delicious and affordable meal that feeds a crowd using a pound of ground beef. Simple Asian Glazed Chicken we learned is a versatile recipe using economical chicken thighs in place of expensive white meat.


We’re finishing up the month by shining the spotlight on budget-friendly pork chops made more succulent with a glaze created with leftover brewed coffee. Coffee and Maple Glazed Pork, inspired by a Taste of Home recipe, is so good, and it’s ready in about 30 minutes, perfect for a weeknight supper.


True confessions: How many times have you poured brewed coffee down the drain? Instead of throwing out leftover coffee, pour it into a glass jar or other airtight container for a few days until you have enough to use in a recipe. I use brewed coffee in soup, chili, and stew. I’ve made a cake with brewed coffee, and Coffee-Braised Beef Roast was a hit at a recent party at my home.


I think you’re going to love this simple recipe for glazed pork chops, so let’s get cooking.


To make Coffee and Maple Glazed Pork, which yields four servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 4 boneless pork loin chops

  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence seasoning blend

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ cup brewed coffee

  • ¼ cup maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Directions for Coffee and Maple Glazed Pork


Bring a large skillet up to medium-high heat. Mix together herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic. Sprinkle on each side of pork loin chops and brown in olive oil. Remove to a plate and tent with aluminum foil.


Combine remaining ingredients in skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced by half; it could take between 5–10 minutes.


Return pork chops to skillet. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10–12 additional minutes until internal temperature for chops is 155 degrees F. Remove chops to serving platter and spoon sauce over pork.


This recipe is versatile. Here are some ingredient swaps.

While pork is less expensive than chicken right now, you could make this recipe using poultry. If you can’t find the chops, a pork tenderloin also will work, but don’t buy the marinated product. Bone-in chops can also be used, but I prefer boneless.


If you don’t have Herbs de Provence, use dried thyme.


Coffee and Maple Glazed Pork Chops are an affordable dinner that boasts big flavors. I love the sauce this recipe makes; the mustard and coffee balance the sweet maple syrup beautifully. I made this dish during a recent cooking class at Tale to Table (a fun shop for home cooks) in the St. Louis suburb of Maplewood and served it with crusty bread, but it would be delightful with wild rice or simple roasted potatoes and vegetables. Give it a try and let me know how yours turned out in comments!


 


 

Looking for more pork recipes?

Put your slow cooker to work to make Pork and Pepper Sandwiches. Use the fork-tender, juicy pork for tacos or nachos later in the week.


My Smothered Pork Chops in Mushroom Sauce is another way to showcase an affordable cut of meat. It’s also ready in 30 minutes!


If you don’t see pork cutlets in your meat case, ask your butcher for this economical cut and make a favorite of our household, pork schnitzel.


About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.



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  • deborahreinhardt

Juicy chicken is bathed in a sweet, spicy Asian sauce and makes a budget-friendly weeknight dinner.


sticky Asian glaze on four boneless chicken thighs topped with green onion and sesame seeds
Simple Asian Glazed Chicken Thighs

Have you seen chicken prices lately? Let’s just say they’re nothing to crow about.


In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that wholesale prices for boneless, skinless breast meat averaged about $3.50 per pound in May 2022, an all-time high. While prices at the store have crept down since then, I recently priced boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and the per pound online cost at Walmart ranged from $2.97 to $4.48.


And remember when we ran around like chickens without heads this fall to find our Thanksgiving turkeys?


Labor shortages, fuel costs, avian flu, and the global grain shortage all combined to shake up the poultry world, and the resulting price increases were passed on. But Americans love their chicken; in fact, in 2021, the average person ate more than 95 pounds of their beloved poultry. Our consumption is expected to top 100 pounds per person by 2031, according to statista.com.

So, the question seems to be how to balance our taste for chicken without busting the food budget. I think we look for meals that utilize less expensive cuts and find recipes that stretch the protein. Simple Glazed Asian Chicken checks both boxes because chicken thighs are used instead of white meat, and you can stretch the recipe by creating a bowl with rice and economical vegetables (both of which are better for us.)


To make Simple Glazed Asian Chicken, which yields four servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • ¾ cup brown sugar

  • ¼ soy sauce (low sodium)

  • ¼ cup chicken stock or water

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

  • Salt and pepper

  • Sesame seeds and chopped green onion for garnish


Another plus to this recipe is it’s a “pantry pull,” meaning a lot of the ingredients are pantry staples. But if you don’t have something, substitutions are simple to do. For instance, I didn’t have sweet chili sauce, so I swapped out sriracha. Red pepper jelly might also be another option. I didn’t have hoisin, so I used a stir fry sauce from the refrigerator. If you don’t have the ginger paste that’s in a handy tube, use grated ginger or even ginger powder. The point is you’re creating a sweet and spicy combo for the tasty, sticky glaze using flavors common to a lot of Asian cooking: garlic, ginger, peppers, soy sauce.


Let’s get cooking!


four chicken thighs brown in cast iron pan
Brown seasoned chicken thighs in oil. Add toasted sesame oil for extra flavor.

First, bring a large skillet or braiser pan to medium-high temperature. Add the oil. I like the mix of a neutral with the flavor of toasted sesame, but if you don’t have the latter, just use the tablespoon of vegetable oil or whatever you have.


Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the pan. Cook chicken about 5 minutes per side until it’s browned. Set aside.


In the pan, stir together brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin and chili sauces, ginger, garlic, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook until it starts to thicken. For me, this took about 8–10 minutes.


Add chicken back to the sauce, coating each side. Continue cooking until chicken reaches 165 degrees F internal temperature.


To plate, sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion. I served a chicken thigh over a bed of rice mixed with frozen carrots and peas. This is a quick dinner with deep flavor.


Question: I don’t like dark meat. Can I make this with chicken breasts?

Absolutely. But because white meat is more expensive, consider stretching the protein servings by cutting each breast horizontally from the thicker end to the thinner tail. This recipe also would be good with chicken tender strips.


I usually prefer white over dark meat, too, but the sweet and spicy glaze is the star in this dish. I thought the sauce tamed the chicken thighs’ flavor very well. You might still want to consider using the thighs given their price range is $2.86 to $3.34 per pound.


Here’s another budget-stretching tip for you

Cut the cooked chicken into chunks and use about half a thigh in an economical rice bowl. This will stretch the chicken into more servings and create a vessel for nutritious and tasty stir-fry vegetables of your choice.


One bite of Simple Glazed Asian Chicken brought me back to my first visit to see my godmother Merle and her family in San Diego. I was about 12 or 13 years old, and we went to the most exotic restaurant I’d ever seen. It was called Bali Hai . I had some type of sweet & spicy chicken dish and a virgin Mai Tai in a tiki mug. The restaurant is still going strong, but the dish is no longer on their menu. However, I still have the mug and the memories.


Give this glazed chicken recipe a try. It’s ready in about 30 minutes and packs a huge amount of flavor in each juicy bite.

 


 

Looking for more chicken recipes?

40 Clove Garlic Chicken calls for drumsticks and thighs. If you want to go the oven route for baking this classic casserole, the New York Times site has a great recipe or follow my slow-cooker method.


Stews, soups and chili are wonderful ways to stretch protein in a recipe. Chicken Chili can use either ground chicken or turkey.


If you want to try my daughter’s favorite dish, Caper Chicken, remember to slice the breasts in half horizontally. It’s a more economical (and healthier) serving portion.


About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.







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  • deborahreinhardt

Dress up a chocolate cake mix with brewed coffee, extra chocolate, and sour cream for a simply delicious dessert.


chocolate cake baked in a Bundt pan.
Easy Chocolate Coffee Cake starts with a boxed cake mix.

My grandmother, Dorothy, and mom, Katie, always made sure there were fresh coffee and dessert to share with anyone who stopped by for a coffee klatsch. It's no surprise that I must pair a cup of coffee with something sweet. Sure, I can drink coffee without a slice of cake or a cookie, but it wouldn’t be as enjoyable, so why bother?


Unlike my mom or granny, I don’t consider myself a strong baker and will take a shortcut whenever I can. That’s why I love this recipe for Easy Chocolate Coffee Cake. Within an hour, I have a delicious, moist, chocolatey companion to go with my cup of joe, and I’m a happy girl.


This morning, I had the good fortune to chat about St. Louis’s coffee history and cooking with coffee on a local radio station, KTRS 550 with two delightful women, Jennifer Blome and Wendy Wiese. Jennifer and Wendy are respected media pros in our city, and their weekday show, “Jennifer & Wendy,” is like girlfriends gabbing around the kitchen table; I felt right at home!


Today is National Gourmet Coffee Day, so to celebrate, I also brought them a sample of chocolate coffee cake and Kaldi’s coffee. Jennifer said requests were coming through asking for the cake recipe, so here you go!


Here I am celebrating National Gourmet Coffee Day at KTRS 550, a St. Louis radio station. But I stopped at Kaldi's drive-through on my way home.

To make my Easy Chocolate Coffee Cake, which yields 12 servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix (your choice)

  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

  • 4 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • ¾ cup canola oil

  • ¾ cup brewed coffee

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)


St. Louis Coffee book

I was a guest on the “Jennifer & Wendy” show to talk about my new book, St. Louis Coffee: A Stimulating History. Before going on air, Jennifer shared she remembers having three kinds of milk in school growing up in Rhode Island: white, chocolate and coffee. I immediately thought if we had coffee milk in St. Louis when I was a kid, my math grades might have been a little better! Wendy and I remembered drinking a teaspoon of coffee in a mug of milk as children so we could feel all grown up. It was also shared that Jennifer makes an amazing coffee-flavored ice cream (maybe I can persuade her to share her recipe).


But even the busiest home cook can whip up this rich and moist cake to share with family and friends.


One of the reasons I like this recipe (in addition to the grocery short cut) is it makes use of leftover brewed coffee. I’ll talk more about this on Sunday during my Cooking with Coffee class at Tale to Table, but coffee often is overlooked in our kitchens as an ingredient. In this easy cake recipe, coffee is in the background bumping up the chocolate flavor (the pinch of salt does the same thing); however, you could add the teaspoon of instant espresso powder to amplify the taste of coffee.


Before starting on the recipe, be sure to bring your eggs to room temperature so your cake has a softer crumb to it. And preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.


Next, simply add the cake mix, pudding mix, salt, eggs, sour cream, oil, and coffee to a large mixing bowl. Beat on low speed using a hand mixer to begin incorporating ingredients, then on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips.


Pour the batter into a buttered Bundt pan. I usually sprinkle flour in the pan, but I didn’t want white flour on a dark chocolate cake, so I dusted the inside with a little cocoa powder.


Bake on the center oven rack for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. When it’s finished, set on a wire cooling rack for about 10 minutes (you should be able to touch the cake pan easily) before trying to turn it out of the Bundt.


After saying a little prayer, place a plate over the cake pan and invert. If you prepared the pan, the cake should slip out. I prefer this cake without a glaze, but you could decorate to your liking. Keeping it plain, however, makes the cake easier to freeze. I cut the cake in half, sliced it up, wrapped the slices in plastic, and placed in a freezer-safe container to enjoy later.


The only thing to do next is call a friend to come over for a cup of coffee and a slice of chocolate cake! Give this recipe a try and let us know in the comments how it turned out for you!

 


 

Here’s another recipe that uses coffee as an ingredient!


My Coffee-Braised Beef Roast makes THE BEST gravy; good enough to make my granny proud. Serve with mashed potatoes or make beef sliders, which were a hit at my book launch party.


About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.


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