My plans for dinner, grilled pork chops with haricots verts in garlic butter and mashed sweet potatoes with goat cheese were spoiled by the weather.
It’s a dreary, snowy-rainy, rainy-snowy day. I shoveled this morning, something I usually enjoy, but the snow is heavy and I finished, an hour later soaked and cold to the bone. The snow continued and the shoveled parts were clogging up with slush again. What is really bugging me are the thick pork chops for dinner that I was planning on grilling. But who wants to go out in the rain and slush to cook. Believe me, I have gone out in many a bad weather, but this one just makes you want to hunker down and avoid the cold, chilly, rain and the slippery deck.
The options are to broil or pan roast the chops. The nice thing about pan roasting is you can make a quick sauce from the fond in the pan.
Haricot vert in Garlic Butter
Take 1 pound haricot vert, snap off the stems and rinse thoroughly. Fill a small pan with one-inch of cold water and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. Place steaming basket inside, fill with the beans, and cover. Steam over high heat for 4 minutes. While these are cooking, mince 2 garlic cloves and slice 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter (1/3 of a tablespoon). Drain the beans, remove the steamer basket, and add the garlic and butter. Stir (the residual heat of the beans melts the butter and softens the harshness of raw garlic), season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve in warm bowl.
Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Set 1 1/2 ounces of goat cheese on the counter to warm while the potatoes are baking. Scrub 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 10 ounces each) to remove dirt and grit. Dry and poke each 3 times with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape while baking. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove to a cutting board and slice each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop the flesh into a warm serving bowl. Stir in the goat cheese (if you forgot to warm the cheese, put in the microwave and soften just a little), mix well, and serve.
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small onion, minced
2 teaspoons dried bouquet garni
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup broth or stock (vegetable, chicken, or beef)
Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
Pour oil into a large skillet with an ovenproof handle and place over high heat.
Season each chop, both sides, with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place the chops into the hot pan (cover with a spatter screen) and sear for about 2 minutes. Turn when the chops are nicely browned, and sear for another 2 minutes.
Place seared chops into preheated oven and cook until internal temperature reads 145ºF for medium (the chops will be slightly pink inside) or longer if you want them well done. The timing will depend on how thick the chops are and if they came directly from the refrigerator (cold) or sat on the counter for a short time (less cold).
Remove chops to a warm serving plate and place hot pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
Add the onions and herbs and stir for a minute or two – don’t let them burn. Pour in the wine and reduce to a couple of tablespoons.
Now add the stock and cook until it thickens a bit. Season with salt and pepper and pour sauce over chops. Serve.