Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce, Smashed Potatoes, and Romaine Salad w/ Garlicky Vinaigrette
January 7, 2012 § 4 Comments
Recently a friend and I were having a conversation about the challenge of conceiving, planning and preparing 21 meals a week (plus snacks). Spelled out like that, the enormity of this job sunk in. In addition to being nourishing, our family meals are also supposed to be varied and delicious. Give me a break. So, when I hit one out of the ballpark, I want to share it with you (and when you hit one out of the ballpark I want you to share it with me – that’s what Facebook is for!). Last night our dinner was delicious and easy to put together. It was also devoured before I had a chance to photograph a single pork chop, so I’ll do my best to paint a picture for you with words.
The name of the game: mustard. I am a latecomer to the mustard party, but now that I have arrived I am living it up. Let me count the mustards in my refrigerator….1, 2, 3, 4, 5… I have Dijon-style (for vinaigrettes), whole grain (for sauces, or to rub on a chicken before roasting), sweet (for sandwiches), smoky (lovely with a plate of charcuterie). Gosh, it’s like mustard and I have know each other forever, we’re just so comfortable together. Last night’s main dish was a recipe from one of my very favorite cookbooks, Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater. I cooked Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce – straightforward French Bistro fare. I asked my children to call me ‘Mademoiselle Morgan’ or at least ‘Maman’ while I prepared their Parisian dinner, but they declined. No sense of fun. Quel dommage. Alongside the chops, smashed potatoes and a Romaine salad with garlicky dressing. The salad was conglomeration of vegetables that I had in my fridge that night – and it worked! I suggest accompanying Romaine with whichever miscellaneous vegetables you have in your refrigerator. The three recipes follow. The vinaigrette recipe will give you more than you need for this salad – keep it in the fridge for a speedy salad in the future. It will keep for a long, long while (at least a month) and it’s undeniably convenient to have dressing on hand.
If you’re going to make this entire dinner, here’s my suggested sequence of events… First, season the meat. Boil water for the potatoes. Make the dressing & salad. Cook the the pork & mustard sauce. Fry the potatoes, while the chops stay warm in the oven. Feast.
Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce (adapted from a recipe by Nigel Slater)
4 bone-in pork chops, 1″ thick
6 Tblsp butter
2 Tblsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
3/4C dry white wine
Whipping cream, 8 oz
Whole grain mustard, 2 Tblsp
Dijon mustard, 2 Tblsp
12 cornichons, roughly chopped
1. Season the chops with salt and pepper, and let them come to room temperature if you have time. Preheat the oven to ‘warm’.
2.Heat the butter and oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add 2 cloves of garlic and 2 pork chops. Brown the chops well, about 5-10 minutes per side. Turn down the heat to medium and cook the pork for another 5 minutes, until the chops are barely pink in the middle. Move the chops to the warm oven, tented with foil on a plate. Repeat with the remaining chops and garlic cloves. Once they are cooked, move the last two chops to the warm oven.
3. Pour all but 2 Tblsp of oil and fat out of the skillet. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the brown bits. After a the wine has boiled for about one minute, add the cream. Allow that to bubble for a minute, then stir in the mustards and the chopped cornichons. Pour the sauce over the pork chops to serve. C’est tout! That’s it!
2 lbs small-medium sized Yukon Golds
4 Tblsp butter
1. Boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water until very tender (20 mins).
2. Drain the potatoes. Heat half of the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Place half of the potatoes in the skillet and use a flat plate to smash ’em – press on the plate gently until the potatoes skin breaks and they’re half as round as they used to be.
3. Let the potatoes sit in the hot skillet for ten minutes, until their bottoms are nicely browned. Flip the potatoes carefully with a spatula and brown the other side. Sprinkle with salt and hold the potatoes in a warm oven.
4. Melt the remaining 2 Tblsp of butter, and repeat with the remaining potatoes. Collect the first batch of potatoes from the oven and voila! Eat up.
Romaine Salad with Garlicky Dressing
Serves 4 (with additional dressing for another day)
For the salad:
1/2 head of Romaine lettuce
6 Cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
note: experiment with miscellaneous vegetables that are in your fridge to accompany the Romaine. This should be a ‘clean the fridge out’ sort of salad.
For the dressing:
2 small cloves garlic, peeled
4 anchovy fillets
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 C extra virgin olive oil
1. Finely mince the anchovy & garlic together on a cutting board. If you have a mortar & pestle, grind them into a paste. In a small bowl combine the anchovy & garlic mixture with the lemon juice. Then slowly whisk in the olive oil.
2. Combine the lettuce, mushrooms and celery in a salad bowl and dress just before serving. Add a few grinds of black pepper, if you’d like. Ta da.