A Gastronomic Break and Viewing Break

PlainI have been cooking up a storm for weeks and was in need of a basic, uncomplicated, simple dinner tonight. The thought of another meal with herbs, spices and seasonings from around the world was incredibly unappealing, so I decided to go with something fairly bland. My tongue and my tummy were in need of a real break. It was the perfect choice! It was unexciting — like JTV on the weekend. Not a bad thing, I’m just sayin’ — there was nothing to cause any drama or zest things up. Perfecto!

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This was an easy and uncomplicated dinner. Pork Chops, Grill-pan Eggplant and Smashed Potatoes

I had intended to bake the bread crumb coated pork chop in the oven, but I have been having problems with the oven for a few weeks and it did not seem to be hot enough so I pulled the chop out and put it in a pan on top of the stove. Since I’d sacrificed time with the chop in the oven I decided to put a cover on the pan once the chop was browned on both sides. No more than 10 minutes later and the button thermometer was telling me the chop was done. And was it ever — perfectly! It’s so easy to over cook pork in fear of undercooking it, but this was perfectly cooked and moist! Covering the pan was key, but it would have been a different story had I not crisped up the pork chop by pan frying it for color prior to covering.

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Grill-pan Eggplant

I simply dipped the pork chop in a beaten egg and then dipped it in bread crumbs. A kind of Schnitzel or Milanesa coating.

The eggplant was equally easy. I sliced it lengthwise in very thin strips, put it in a bowl and sprinkled with a generous helping of salt to draw out the bitterness and some of the moisture for 30 minutes.

I put it in a heated grill pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Once the pan was sizzling hot I put the eggplant slices in and let them get the grill pan marks on each side, about 5 minutes per side. I sprinkled salt, pepper and oregano on top before turing each strip.

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DEElicious Smashed Potatoes

For the Smashed Potatoes I cut one potato into large pieces and boiled until tender. Once done, I drained the potatoes, returned them to the pan and smashed them with the skin on. I added sweet, unsalted butter and ilk and mashed until a creamy consistency with some chunks and the skin remaining. I scooped the smashed potatoes into a large stainless steel ramekin and topped with diced, cooked bacon and placed in a 350º oven until the pork and eggplant were finished.

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So, there you have it. A simple, uncomplicated, easy to prepare and plate dinner for a cold winter night.

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2 Responses

  1. You mentioned a “button thermometer” was it already in the pork or is this a gadget I can aquire . . . . I have a problem undercooking meat . . fear of overcooking . .

  2. Hi Baker!

    Great question. I bought it at — guess where? Yep, Williams-Sonom. OK, didn’t buy it, it was a gift at a product training in the fall. But it’s made by Taylor and they come in a pack of four. Two for poultry, two for beef. I will shoot a photo of them for tonight’s blog post. I let it get to just about 160º and since I did not eat it for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven, it was perfect timing. It had a few more minutes to finish getting to temperature before I dug in.

    I can feel beef and chicken, but am always hesitant with a thick cut of pork.

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