Thursday, October 22, 2015

Catching up on carnivores again

Eastside Road, October 22, 2015—
WE'RE ON THE ROAD again, just for a long weekend; here's a quick update on the last few days, mostly at home — beginning with a view of Pork Chops Ma Façon in the skillet, just before plating out. More about that below. Sunday — five days ago already! — was yet another birthday celebration; October is rife with birthdays and bad Cubs news. We were at the neighbors down the hill, with them, all five of them; and we had a typical celebration there, steak and sausage grilled over wood outside, with a delicious potato salad and a green salad and, afterward, what could be better than chocolate cream pie?

Monday we were still in a carnivorous mood and celebrated with those pork chops. I call them "my way," but the recipe was lifted years ago from someone else; I'm not going to research that just now — I'm sure the attribution lurks somewhere in this blog's archives.

It's simple enough: you crush a clove of garlic with a tablespoon or so of fennel seeds and some salt in your mortar; then you grate lemon zest into the paste and add olive oil, stirring to a spreadable consistency.

After searing the chops on one side (in only their own fat, in a black iron skillet), you turn them and spread half the paste on the seared sides. When the other side is seared you flip the chops, spread the remaining paste, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and cook until done.

We had these with sliced green Zebra tomatoes, probably the last of the year, and garlic toast; salad afterward; and a glass or two of rosé.

Tuesday was fast day, as usual; and last night (Wednesday) we ate out, rather exceptionally because at neither a restaurant nor a friend's house but in a retirement community where a friend's mother lives. This is one upscale place, I must say, and the dining was not at all bad. We had steak-frites, the steak a bit tough but flavorful; my Caesar salad boasted anchovies (though you can be sure no raw egg), and a glass of cheap local Merlot washed it down nicely.

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Steak and sausage down the hill Chocolate cream pie! Those pork chops, on the plate
Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants


louann said...

I love pork chops - this sounds great! I've been wondering though what cut to request lately - I feel like the meat has changed some in the past few years, and I'm noticing a big variance depending on the week etc from the local butcher, and I prefer the thick ones - ideas? Some end up being too fatty for my taste.

Charles Shere said...

We like them thick, too, and pink at the center — pork is too often overcooked; 135* is all it needs, measured at the center. We like them bone in, and trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat, which I rub onto the surface of the (cold) black iron skillet before getting it good and hot to sear the meat. These were Niman Ranch chops, quite good.

louann said...

Thank you! No need to answer but I'm also wondering about the pig itself - I know that when I have a Montana steak from beef raised there the taste is really beyond what I get elsewhere. But I also think my sense of taste has become touchier with age.