Sous Chef Series | Justin Uchtman
Shows us why brining is best
We test and taste every recipe we publish. While we collaborate with a lot of talented chefs, we adapt and tinker with everything in our test kitchen. (It smells really good in here). Our goal is to make sure every recipe works as well in your home kitchen as it does in ours. So go on, get cooking with confidence.
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Justin Uchtman, sous chef at SPQR in San Francisco, moved to the city three years ago and plans to never leave. The Ohio transplant's reason: San Francisco's proximity to wine country and the access to great ingredients. "I think everything is better out here," says the young chef. "It would take a lot to make me leave."
Uchtman lives a few blocks from the restaurant, and whenever he has the night off, he cooks at home. Specialties include his grandmother's recipes for pound cake and meatloaf, as well as simply prepared meats, like these brined pork chops.
Brined Pork Chops with Spaghetti Squash
Yield: 2 servings
Cook Time: 1 hour (plus 1 hour cooling and overnight brining)
Whole black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon
Brown mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon
Whole coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon
Water, 1 cup
Granulated sugar, 1 cup
Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon
Rosemary sprigs, 2
Bone-in pork chops, 2 (8 to 10 ounces each)
Canola or grapeseed oil, 1 tablespoon
Medium spaghetti squash, 1 (halved lengthwise and seeded)
Kosher salt, 2 teaspoons
Freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon
Unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons (1 tablespoon melted)
Rosemary sprigs, 4