The Incredible, Edible Pork Chop – An Easy Pork Chop Recipe

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image from Serious Eats

My boyfriend sat me down last night for a somewhat serious talk.  I’m cooking too much, he says.  And not spending enough time painting.  And he’s right.  I’ve been getting up before work to cook, then spending a few hours in the evening making more things while I hadn’t painted since (gasp!) Sunday.  Not good, not good at all.

I agreed to tone it down because I know he’s right.  I really need to be painting.  And while cooking is very important to me, I need to start thinking about it in a different way.  A quick perusal of my Pinterest boards tell me that I am overly enamored with complicated, laborious recipes.  I feel so proud when I make one.  It’s so satisfying.  But I need to relegate that to weekends if I ever want this painting thing to go anywhere.

And so, a challenge arose: how to cook healthy food that Sally Fallon would be proud of, really quickly after work.  I get home around 5:15.  At 6:30 I want to sit down at my little desk-studio with a full tummy and no guilt, and get working.  I have a couple of ideas on how to do this, and I’m going to post them here.  I won’t post recipes, per se, as much as instructions because it’s really all about convenience, n’est-ce pas?

And so without futher ado, here are my suggested steps for lovely, weeknight porkchops:

1 – Order your pastured pork chops from a farm, and have them delivered.  So much  easier.  I get mine here.

2 – Have your boyfriend or significant other pick up the following, because I know I don’t want to brave Whole Foods after work: one or two pieces of veg, a yellow onion and grass-fed heavy cream.  I suggest mushrooms for the veg, but it would also be great with red pepper or spinach.

3 – Chop up a chunk of the onion and whichever vegetable you chose.  You could add a little thyme to the mix if you’d like.  Heat some butter in a pan and begin sauteeing.  Stir every once in a while so they get soft and a little caramelized.  Heat your oven to 350.

4 – Meanwhile in another, oven-proof pan, melt some more butter.  When it’s nice and hot (a sprinkle of water should sizzle and evaporate almost instantaneously), put in your pork chops.  While they’re cooking, salt and pepper the still raw side.  After 2-3 minutes, flip to the other side.  The meat should be nice and caramelized. Salt and pepper the virgin side.

5 – After another 2-3 minutes, put the whole pan in the oven for another 2-3 minutes.  (And remember to swish your veg around in the other pan).

6 – Take the pan out of the oven and remove the pork chops to a plate to rest.  Admire their glistening beauty.  Turn the flame to med-low.  Add 1-2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar and as it’s steaming, take a wooden spoon and get all the yummy, stuck-on bits unstuck.  Then add heavy cream, enough to make as much sauce as you want.  Stir it around, getting anything still stuck, unstuck.  Then add your veg from the other pan and let it all cook together for a few minutes.  It should thicken up pretty quickly.

7 – Pour the cream sauce on the pork chops and guess what, dinner is done.

Hope you try and enjoy this.  What are your quick, weeknight meals?

On Pennywise Platter Thursday, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday

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What’s A Girl To Do?

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I had one of my big cooking nights last night.  I sat at work all day planning out all the luscious things I was going to make in my tiny galley kitchen.  Working can be such a bummer because I could literally be cooking and making all day long.  Sometimes I really wish I was a stay-at-home Mom, but alals, that is not my life.

My job is a New York anomaly.  I am out at 4:30 pm.  Yes, you read that right, 4:30pm.  I’m home when my friends have hours to go at their jobs, so complaining about the hours I’m missing while at work is really not an option.  But there just doesn’t seem to be enough time!  I have visions of a stocked larder and a kitchen brimming with activity.  My problem is my other vision: I’m a painter, too.  And that is not a light hobby.  It’s completely engrossing and wonderful, occupying much of your brain activity, space and most definitely your time.  And sadly, I’ve barely painted since the weekend.

My solution is to try and get organized.  I’m a great lover of systems.  That is, I love to create them (following them is another thing!).  So I try to group my recipes for optimum efficiency, stocking the larder, fridge and feezer all at once.  Sort of a Pemmican Principal type of thing.  It’s a work in progress, and one I’d like to share with you as time goes on.  I’d also love your suggestions!

In the meantime, here is something delicious I made last night.  We’re right on the edge of the season, so I’m thinking of buying more squash, and putting a bunch in some Freezer Ball Jars.

Butternut Squash and Apple Compote

Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

2 cups chopped, peeled butternut squash

1 pound (about 2) apples – I used Corland

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup sugar – I use whole sugar

a splash of apple cider vinegar

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven.  Add the chopped butternut squash and saute until the squash is browned on the edges.  Add the apple and sugar to the mix and toss to coat.  Let it cook down over a medium-low flame, allowing it to caramelize slowly.  From time-to-time check on it to stir, adding a bit of water as needed.  My apples didn’t let out a lot of liquid so I needed to add quite a bit.  Just don’t let anything get too caramelized.  After about 20 minutes add a splash of apple cider vinegar.  This is a great addition, it really breaks up the dense sweetness of the squash and apple.  Continue letting it cook until the apple is soft and you can’t stop yourself from eating off your wooden spoon, about 40 minutes.

Dream of it all night and spoon it on your oatmeal in the morning.  And just like that,  you’ve had a serving of veg before 12pm!

And here is my favorite Pin from the last few days.  Chef Fergus Henderson and his wife in their kitchen.  Look how cool these two are!

On Foodie Friday

Some thoughts on diets

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This post at The Nourishing Gourmet has me thinking.  So many of us have wonderful ideals when it comes to food.  We care about the lives of animals, our bodies, the spirit in which these things are created.  It’s worth adhering to rules most of the time.  But as Kimi says, about 20% of the time you can, and probably should, let yourself go.

Why?  Because food shouldn’t be what separates us.  Here in New York we rely on restaurants and bars to socialize.  Our apartments are simply not up to the task.  We’re lucky here in that so many New Yorkers are concerned with food.  A lot of restaurants specify “grass-fed” or “free-range.”  Some, like Northeast Kingdom, will actually tell you which farm your meat came from.  That Portlandia sketch is oh, so true.  But no matter what, there’s a certain amount of risk that comes with allowing someone else to prepare your food.

When I go out to eat I try to avoid sugary desserts, white flour-y things, and meat.    I’m not a vegetarian.  And while I respect them and their sacrifices, I am a staunch meat eater.  I just don’t want to risk factory-farmed meat.  But I do go out.  I have to if I want to maintain a social life.  So I let myself forget and I focus on the company.  My motto is sometimes you have to feed your body, and sometimes you have to feed your soul. The 80-20 rule is great because it allows for the slip-ups that create instead of destroy wonderful experiences.

Here’s a lovely kitchen for you:

On Pennywise Platter and Simple Lives Thursday

I know, I know

Nothing for two weeks and then suddenly two posts in one day.  I just had to repost this link from David Lebovitz.  It’s a giant list of all the chocolatiers in Paris.  If you go there, you should print this out and have it in hand the whole time.  Look how many chocolatiers there are.  If nothing else, that makes Paris the best city in the world.  Just that.

 

Bite me.