My Communal Table


Porks chops always seem to make the world a little better.
July 28, 2009, 5:41 am
Filed under: Main Entree | Tags: , , ,

first food 041

I love love love pork chops. I like them anytime and any season. It comes as no surprise to me that my sons have this same love for pork chops. Who am I kidding, they share the same love  and passion for all things from a pig.

I call the pork chops above “Whatever I have in the house flavored pork chops.”

I start with bone in pork chops. Bones mean flavor. Period. Pork can handle a lot of different flavors and I usually just go with what I have around.

1.Uncork the wine that you are drinking, pour a glass for yourself and your handy sous chef. A properly chilled bottle of Chardonnay is the choice tonight.

2. Slice up mushrooms and chop up a shallot and a couple of  gloves of  garlic.

3. Heat deep sided fry pan over medium heat. While it heats, I season my pork chops on both sides with cumin, paprika, salt, creole seasoning and then let sit.  Put a couple tablespoon of olive oil in the heated pan.

4. Place mushrooms, onions, and garlic in oil and saute’ until tender. While  they are cooking, chopped up the herbs that you would like to finish with. I picked sage and oregano from the garden and chopped it up finely.

5. Spoon out sauted veggies and place on side. Place pork chops in pan to brown. Oil might need to be added. Brown each side, then turn it down to low. Pour in some wine over the chops, add mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Put in half the herbs. Cover.

6. I usually can tell if the pork is done by touching it. You will learn this by simply doing it. Do not just lift up the cover and stare at it hoping you can just tell if it is done. Touch it. It should feel firmer then when it is raw. If there is no give, it is probably over cooked a little. Take it off the heat. Have your platter ready to put the chops on, then slotted spoon I scoop out mushroom mixture and place over chops. Then I add a few pads of butter to the juices in the pan and scrap the bottom. Pour over chops and spread the rest of the sage and oregano over the plate.

Now for the side dish…

first food 045

Red Potatoes with green beans in a bechamel sauce.

This side dish reminds me of my childhood. We would have this in summer with a variety of different meat from the grill. It goes with everything. I had gone to the farmers market in the morning and they had fresh red skin potatoes and deep green beans. I saw them and I knew what I was having that night for dinner. I knew that I wanted to pass my memory on to my sons.

While I was doing the chops, my trusted sous chef was making the our side dish. On this night my sous chef was my oldest son, Andrew. It is nice he is of the age that we can drink wine and cook together. There is no better moments in life.

The potatoes were cleaned and quartered and the green beans were trimmed on the ends. We  simply steamed them to tender.

Then I go my book. You know the book. The book that every mother must have to teach her children proper cuisine. The book from the master. My hero. Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child. Look up … Bechamel Sauce… it is a simply white sauce.  Not hard to make at all. Do not be intimated by it. As Julia says, “Don’t be afraid.”

1.In a 6 cup saucepan melt 2 tbs. butter over low hea. Blend  in the 3 tbs.flour, and  coook slowly, stirring, until the butter and flour froth together for 2 minutes with coloring. This is now a white roux.

2. Remove roux from heat. As soon as roux has stopped bubbling, pour in 2 cups heated milk and 1/4 tps. salt all at once. Immediately beat vigorously with a wire whip to blend liquid and roux.

3. Set saucepan over moderately high heat and stir with the wire whip until the sauce comes to the boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring. The sauce should be thicker at this point.

4. Remove from heat, and beat in salt and pepper to taste.  A little grated nutmeg is nice as well.

This the point that you put the steamed potatoes and green beans in the beautiful white sauce and we added chopped dill on the top.

The creamy summer vegetables with the earthiness from the mushrooms and pork chops  are a great blend. We made a simply mixed green salad with a simple vinegarette. What a great meal. What good conversation. What an amazing time with my family. Food is love.

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1 Comment so far
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You are the real food talent in the family! Vive la cochon and vive Julia!

Comment by Jonathan Schuler




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