We feasted tonight. I try to make a good dinner most nights, except when Papa John sneaks into the house. Digression: I am going to build that wood fired oven in the back yard someday. Then we'll see if Papa sulks around my domicile!
So I don't always make a decent meal. Who does? Some nights I call out, "Get your own dinner night!" The kids like that because the youngest one likes to make her own meals. The eldest likes it too because she likes to be left alone!
Tonight was not one of those nights. I wanted to make Salad Taverna. It sounded really good, and I thought to pair it with thick cut pork chops. I also had some corn on the cob that needed to be used. It was already two days
from the store. Swiss chard would add that bit of green that good nutrition seems to want.
was a faceless recipe until tonight. I have to say that it doesn't present a lovely picture, but the flavor was really good! It was fine without
my tweaks and is also good with them. But it has the kind of face only a very devoted mother could love. Could it be the way I put it together? Perhaps, but I did follow the directions. The recipe didn't indicate what shape of spinach pasta to use, and all
I could find was linguine, so that is what I used. Apart from that, it was very straight forward. My kids loved it. That is my ultimate test, because they are my clients.
The sweet corn was done very simply. I just shucked them, and put them in a 8 x 8 Pyrex dish and added a couple ounces of water and shook a teaspoon of sugar over the cobs. I covered the dish in plastic wrap and nuked it for
seven minutes. I should have let it go just a touch more, but I am starting to like my corn a bit more on the fresh side. The corn was really good with a bit of butter and salt. Both girls got their braces off this Winter, and corn on the cob is back on the
menu! My oldest was so happy to not get furry teeth from eating the corn!
The chops were the best I've ever made. The secret was in the brine. I recently purchased and read Michael Ruhlman's book, Ratio. The premise of the book is that with basic skills and a knowledge of a dozen or so ratios, you
can be a formidable cook. I highly recommend it for those wanting to improve their cooking. In that book is a brine recipe. The basic brine ratio is 20 ounces of water and one ounce of salt. Add to that a tablespoon of sugar, a tablespoon of cracked black
pepper corns, 10 cloves of garlic, crushed, and a good sized bunch of thyme and sage. Allow your chops to brine for six hours. I pan fried them in just a touch of olive oil after patting them dry and allowing them to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
I browned both sides over a medium high heat and then turned the temp down for a bit. I forgot to record the times, but the inch thick chops were about a medium rare when we ate them. Anywho, I took the chops from the pan and rested them under foil. To the
pan I added 1/4 cup of chopped onion, two cloves of garlic, sliced and then sweated them in the pan for two minutes on medium heat. Then I added 2 ounces of white wine and 2 or 3 ounces of chicken stock to deglaze the pan. As the liquid was reducing, I added
to the pan a bunch of Swiss Chard that had been washed, rough chopped and dried. I let that cook down for about five minutes until it was done. I served that on top of the chops.
The girls wanted me to photograph the pork chops, but I decided that I only wanted to take a photo of the faceless salad. Maybe I'll formalize the pork chop recipe, and then photograph it.