Lately I’ve been experimenting with very simple flavors: a salad of arugula greens dressed with olive oil and herbs de provence; a pan-seared pork chop seasoned with only salt and pepper and finished in the oven; a roast chicken with rosemary, oregano, thyme; kale sauteed in olive oil or finished off with sesame oil.
I tend toward bold flavors: lentil stew with curry, lots of garlic, chicken andouille sausage and chard; root vegetable stew with cumin and coconut milk (sounds weird, but it works); roasted fish with some kind of spice rub. But I have to tell you: sometimes just starting with a great piece of fresh organic meat, rubbing with salt and pepper, and searing or roasting allows the true flavor to come through. Simple is elegant and delicious.
Here is what I made tonight. Full disclosure: I made this dish for my boyfriend; I don’t like pork, but I love experimenting with all kinds of food, even the things I won’t eat. If I made it for myself or others, I would complement the dish with kale or chard to add both color and nutrients (the base of all my meals are dark, leafy greens), but he won’t touch kale. It turned out beautifully and was easy to prepare. Finish it off with a cinnamon baked apple and toasted walnuts for dessert.
Pork & Potatoes
Bone-in pork chop, room temperature, rubbed on both sides with sea salt and cracked pepper
3 or 4 red potatoes, cut into 4 wedges each
Chop potatoes and toss with olive oil, oregano, thyme, (or whatever green herbs you have on hand) sea salt, pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, for about 45 minutes at 400.
After about 30 minutes, heat a cast iron skillet coated with grapeseed or coconut oil. Sear pork chop about 3 minutes each side, until lightly browned. Finish off in the oven for about 10 more minutes with the potatoes, until meat thermometer registers 165 or 170. Do not stick the thermometer straight down into the chop; rather, insert it lengthwise and away from the bone. Let rest for 5-10 minutes. Pull out the potatoes and plate everything.
The pork was perfect, and I don’t even like pork. I had 2 bites! But for my meal, I had root vegetable stew with dino kale and curry that I made a couple days. As it happens, we usually eat different meals here at my house. Sigh.
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