August 31, 2009

No Trimming the Fat Here

Sunday was just a perfect day.  It was warm but had all the smells and whispers of fall in the air.  It was not a day to stay inside!  After a bike ride and an hour or two off the island and onto another one, Sam and I decided to cook dinner again – after all, we had done some damage at Whole Foods the day before and had leftover ingredients from the soup.

After a quick perusal of the meat section, we decided on the most delicious looking pork chops which the butcher promptly took a cleaver to – so fresh!

Some kale and the leftover carrots created an inspired Sunday evening feast that was easy but tasted like we actually worked for it.  I recommend this meal for a fall evening, or just one when you’re dreaming of the upcoming season.

Best of all, you get to use the toaster over, AND the hotplate in this one!  Be warned, I broke out some of my fancy kitchen tools.  It’s true - I’m just compensating for something…

Pork Chops for Two
The best part of this meal is that you barely need to do a thing to the pork.  These were fatty chops so kept all that goodness on and let it do the work in the broiler.  Just a little salt and pepper on both sides was all they needed.
The tricky part of this type of meal is getting all of the components done on two burners at roughly the same time.  You’re going to have to reserve the broth you cooked the carrots in to cooked the kale, while you purée your carrots. 
Before anything, preheat the broiler / toaster oven to 400°F (or as high as it will go!) and salt & pepper the pork on both sides.
Then, cut carrots and set to boil in chicken stock on the hotplate.
Once the toaster oven is hot, place the pork on a broiler pan and cook for 20 minutes, or until the meat is cooked all the way through. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
As the pork is cooking, assemble the sides.
Wash kale and place in a frying pan on the second burner, then tend to the carrots.

Carrot Purée
5 carrots
2 cups chicken stock
salt & pepper
1 tbsp. butter

The carrots should take about 15 minutes to be tender.  Once they are cooked, drain them but reserve the stock.  You’ll use this to sauté the kale.
Using an immersion blender, (or a hand blender, my new favorite kitchen appliance!) purée the carrots with 1 tbsp. of butter, salt & pepper.  You can also do this in a food processor, or if you’re really in a bind, a hand mixer or potato masher.  Season purée to taste and let sit.

Sautéed Kale
Turn burner under frying pan filled with kale on.  Let it get hot them pour 1 cup of the reserved chicken stock into the pan.  Cover and let wilt.  Sauté with a little salt & pepper for a minute or two and then turn off the heat.
Plate the side and once the pork has rested, serve it as well.  The whole thing sounds much more complicated than it is.  It should only take you 35 minutes to make the full meal!

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