Nina’s waffles and ice cream to offer liege-style waffles and 130 kinds of ice cream _ mercerspace. com

When Nina’s Waffles & Ice Cream opens its doors at 252 Nassau St. Fast easy pork chops this month, it will represent the fourth location of this collaboration between chef and caterer Shawn Lawson and New Hope, Pennsylvania restaurateur Louis Zanias. How to do pork chops in the oven Nina’s calling cards are authentic Liege-style Belgian waffles and housemade artisanal ice creams.

If your knowledge of the Princeton dining scene goes back 15 or 20 years, the name Shawn Lawson will ring a bell, first for his high-end catering business, Soufflé, and then for his Studio Cooking School on Farber Road in West Windsor. Crock pot pork chops After those ventures, Lawson worked mainly in the New Hope area, where he connected with Zanias, the owner of two restaurants there, Karla’s and Zoubi.


The pair eventually teamed up on a wholesale business, Zoubi Cakes and Catering. Things to cook with pork chops But it was with the founding of Nina’s Waffles a few years ago that the partnership found its stride.

“Louis and I first met back in the early nineties,” Lawson recalls. Grilled pork chops side dishes “Then about nine years ago I was walking through New Hope and we rekindled that friendship. Fried pork chops recipe paula deen We started doing wholesale desserts and it kind of evolved from there.”

Nina’s Nassau Street location is next door to Small World Coffee and Nassau Street Seafood. Recipes to make pork chops The building is owned by Jack Morrison’s JM Restaurant Group, and the space was last occupied by a Subway sandwich shop. Baked pork chops 350 degrees With almost 2,400 square feet, Princeton’s is by far the largest Nina’s; other locations are in New Hope and Doylestown, in Pennsylvania, and Sergeantsville in New Jersey. Easy delicious pork chops “That’s almost too much space,” Lawson says of Princeton, adding with a laugh, “It could be an annex to Princeton Airport! We could give ballroom dancing lessons here.”

Because the space is approved for only 25 seats, there’s plenty of elbow room. How to cook oven baked pork chops And to help defray the overhead costs, this Nina’s will differ from her siblings by being open all day, seven days a week, year round. Baked pork chops stuffing In addition to the signature Liege waffles and ice creams served in the other locations, the Princeton restaurant will offer a line of savory waffles and fillings, as well as soups and innovative sandwiches, including a “Grilled Cheez of the Week.” (One example: The Apple Pie: doughnut, cheddar, Muenster, bacon, sliced apple: $7)

The newest Nina’s differs in one more regard, Lawson points out. How to roast pork chops “It’s our first license agreement.” Owners are businessmen Tom Pappas of Tmp Mechanical Systems in Trenton, and Mike Fanourgakis of Do Best Enterprises in Lumberton. Recipe baked pork chops “They’ve been dabbling in the restaurant business for a while, with snack bars,” Lawson says.

Their contracting skills and sensibilities proved useful in the design and construction of the Nassau Street restaurant with, for example, a bar/counter containing charging stations for smartphones and a reclaimed barn door that leads to two restrooms. Recipes for boneless pork chops The overall design aesthetic is rustic-industrial, so the main counter is clad with reclaimed rough-wood planks, and above it is a decorative tin ceiling. What to cook with pork chops Elsewhere, a wood plank ceiling and exposed overhead HVAC system are painted deep blue-gray. How do you make baked pork chops One wall features large, three-dimensional metal letters with lights that spell out “Nina’s.”

While both American and Belgian waffles are found on other menus in town, Liege waffles are not. Baked pork chops with potatoes Liege waffles are made not from a poured batter, but from yeasted dough, similar to brioche, Lawson explains. Baked pork chops oven temp Legend has it that in the late 18th century, the Prince-Bishop of Liege requested that his chef create a treat using the newly invented pearl sugar, a Belgian specialty made from beet sugar. Stuffed pork chops bake time Whether the story is true or not, Liege waffles eventually became wildly popular, first in Belgium, then Europe, and now the U.S.

Louis Zanias’ heritage is Greek, but he grew up in Belgium. How to flavor pork chops “He remembered the Liege-style waffle as a kid – that was his snack,” Lawson says. Pork chops best way to cook “Every day in school, a little woman wearing a babushka would show up with them.” One day, when Zanias was reminiscing to Lawson about them, Lawson agreed to look into the feasibility of reproducing them. Pork chops for two “So Louis calls up someone he knows in Belgium, and about two months later we have a pound of dough and a special waffle iron that costs some insane amount, like $1,800. Smothered pork loin chops So we freeze this dough and cook it and, wow, it’s good,” he says. Things to make with pork chops Chef Shawn Lawson, general manager Mark Delpo and franchise owners Michael Fanourgakis and Tom Pappas at the new location of Nina’s Waffles and Ice Cream, 252 Nassau St., expected to open this month. Stuffed pork chops in slow cooker Photo by Suzette J. How to make pork chops more tender Lucas.

But Zanias felt that it was not as good as he remembered. Oven pork chops So Lawson did some research and after about four months of trial and error, came up with his own recipe. Moist pan fried pork chops “The only thing we have to import is the pearl sugar, which we buy by the pallet,” he says. What to make for dinner with pork chops (Pearl sugar, which is coarse, does not melt during baking as quickly as regular granulated sugar.)

It’s the combination of brioche-like dough and pearl sugar that gives Liege waffles their unique taste, Lawson says. Recipes for pork loin chops in slow cooker “As they cook, the sugar caramelizes, making the outside crisp and crunchy. How to prepare pork chops But the inside is chewy and bread-like. How to cook pork chops with bone And then we have the warm toppings – chocolate ganache and caramel – as well as cold toppings.” Among those latter are Nutella, dulce de leche, chocolate chips, speculoos, peanut butter, whipped cream, pastry cream, bananas, and strawberries. Stuffed pork chops spinach “And apple Tatin,” Lawson adds. How to cook pork chops on the bbq “You take cooked caramelized apples and add pastry cream and a little sugar, and torch it. Recipes for pork chops in slow cooker A great dessert with a scoop of ice cream.”

These days, Lawson, his pastry chef, and his staff make everything from scratch, including Nina’s 130-plus flavors of ice cream. What to do with pork chops (About 24 will be on offer at any one time.) But that wasn’t always the case. Creative ways to cook pork chops The first Nina’s started as a shop selling Liege waffles, sans ice cream, inside the Stockton Market in early 2011. Recipes for pork chops and mushroom soup That was followed by attempts to establish beachheads in Seaside Park and Red Bank, but they didn’t catch on. Cooking ideas for pork chops “At that point, we still hadn’t finished the concept,” Lawson admits. How to cook pork chops in the oven fast They added ice cream by the time Nina’s opened in New Hope in May 2012.

They began by buying ice cream from OWowCow, an acclaimed creamery based in Ottsville, Pennsylvania that has a popular outlet in Lambertville. Shake and bake pork chops “It is wonderful, but it was cost prohibitive,” Lawson explains. Quick easy recipes for pork chops “We tried for a year, but the numbers didn’t work.”

So Zanias went to Penn State to take the short course in ice cream making. Easy crock pot pork chops and rice “He came back with a huge stack of notes and tabulated a formula,” Lawson says. What goes with baked pork chops “And people got excited! So for the last three years we’ve made our own ice cream.” At their commissary in New Hope, Lawson and his team make Philadelphia-style ice cream — i.e., without eggs — and pasteurize their own base using milk and cream from Balford Farms, the local dairy distributor based in Burlington.

Their ice cream base is 14 percent fat and sugar — “Just enough to get by so it’s not too sweet, so you can taste the flavors,” Lawson says. Tender baked pork chops recipe He is proud of his seasonal fruit flavors, such as black currant. How to cook delicious pork chops “We roast the fruit in the oven, thus decreasing the amount of water and intensifying the flavor, and we use twice the amount of fruit that most people do. How to cook pork chops with flour So you’re really going to taste the fruit.”

Despite its rotating roster of 130 flavors, vanilla remains the best seller. Good recipe for pork chops in the oven The second best seller? Chocolate. Crock pot pork chops cream of mushroom soup potatoes His personal favorite flavor is sea salt caramel. Receipes for pork chops He and his pastry chef bake all ice cream inclusions, such as speculoos cookies. Baked 1 inch boneless pork chops “The only things we don’t make are the Oreo cookies and one flavor that includes pretzels, for which I buy skinny salted pretzels,” he says. Crockpot pork chops He has had particular success with what he calls Mad Crack: Saltine crackers, baked in an oven with toffee and chocolate. Recepies for pork chops “You chop it up and incorporate it into Madagascar vanilla ice cream base. Good recipes for pork chops People love it,” he says.

Nina’s Princeton will offer two styles of Belgian waffles. How to cook pork chops on stove In addition to the signature Liege sweet waffles, the more common Brussels style will be used for savory items. How to season baked pork chops Different steel waffle irons are used to make each kind. Stuffed pork chops cream cheese “The grates are different. Recipes for pork chops filipino style The Brussels iron has deeper grooves and rectangular quadrants – better for a poured batter and to make four full-size waffles at a time,” Lawson explains. Baked pork chops in tomato sauce This creative chef even used cooked Liege waffles to sponge-paint a wall near the irons, dipping each into a different color of paint to make a series of decorative crosshatch designs.

Three savory waffle combinations are planned for the initial opening, including one of mac ‘n’ cheese and a gluten-free version with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes. Baked pork chops in gravy But Lawson’s ideas for additions and combinations are seemingly endless. Quick and easy baked pork chops “You can add chopped bacon and cheddar cheese, or a sausage stuffing, or smoked salmon with sour cream, maybe topped with microgreens, or add our homemade pulled pork or turkey chili. Frying pork chops time We’re giving people options,” he says with a bit of understatement. Grilled pork chops with basil garlic rub “And in summer, I’m going to use local produce, such as Jersey tomatoes and basil. Baked pork chops breaded Maybe have a pizza waffle lunch special. How to cook pork chops in convection oven Maybe our version of chicken and waffles using boneless thighs and not smothered in maple syrup!”

One of several blackboards around the airy space is devoted to party tray options. Easy tasty pork chops “With all the catering that goes on in this town you have to set yourself apart,” he admits. Baked pork chops with gravy “Our sweet-savory waffles, such as Moroccan onion and goat cheese or poached pear and blue cheese, will be available in mini-forms on a tray of, say, 36. Apple pork chops Our Yukon Gold ones can be made as one-bite hors d’ouevres.” He points out an option that’s “great for a kid’s party. How to cook pork chops uk We cook 25 fresh waffles and provide ten pints of ice cream plus a pint each of our chocolate ganache and caramel sauce. Making pork chops It’s $25 – and the kids get to make their own combinations.” Nina’s also boasts four trucks, including one devoted to savories, that can be rented for parties of 35 or more.

“And it all started because Louis grew up in Belgium!” marvels Lawson, who turns 51 this month and who just moved to Sergeantsville. Crock pot pork chops with potatoes and carrots Lawson grew up with his parents and two brothers in Hightstown, where his father taught at the Peddie School.

“Louis is a trained chef, too,” he says of his business partner, “but he hasn’t been cooking for a long time. Smothered pork chops gravy He’s the original idea man, and we just clicked.”