15 December 2014

Roasted Scallions with Pork Chops

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The tree is trimmed, no small feat considering I hauled it into my place solo and hoisted it aloft.  From the front no one could tell that it is leaning slightly askew, but I did not have the heart to take it down and reposition the stand.  Instead, I decorated it with white lights, pretty baubles, and shoved it closer to the wall so no one will notice my slight miscalculation.  The fact that the tree is not perfect is more homey--right?  Yea, absolutely homey.

The Pacific Northwest temperatures remained temperate over the weekend, certainly not evoking a blistery, winter feeling.  Despite the temperate weather, I felt compelled to cook a classic warm dinner.  Instead of meat and potatoes, I took a cue from Matt Wilkinson', and decided upon meat and vegetables.  Scallions to be exact.  

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Ingredients:
  • 2 pork chops
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 quart (4 cups water) to brine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 large scallions (cut in half, unpeeled
  • 3 Tbsp fine sugar
  • 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup water

The Method:

Brine the pork chops in a salt water solution, I left mine in the refrigerator for two hours before cooking.  Here is a great tutorial for folks who have never done a brine before from thekitchn.  

Bring a skillet to medium heat and preheat the oven to 500°F.  Pull the pork chops from the brine and lightly salt and pepper before splashing a little olive oil in the skillet.  Place the pork chops on the griddle and allow it to sear on the surface before flipping over to  the other side.  Once both sides are a golden color, transfer to a roasting pan and place in the oven, turning the pan a quarter turn every 15 minutes.  After 45 minutes, pull down the temperature to 325°F and roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.  

While the skillet is still warm, keep all the juices from the pork sear and add in a dash of olive oil and the cut scallions and cook for three minutes, or until they turn a beautiful golden color.  Add in the fine sugar to caramelize, and then the butter with water and watch it become a bit of a science experiment as the water sizzles.  Bring the heat back down, and add water if it dissolves before cooking 15-20 minutes.  The outer layers of the scallions should come off easily and pulled off before serving. 

Take the pork out of the oven, and test to make sure the internal temperature is done.  Set the pork aside for 10-15 minutes to rest.  Drizzle skillet drippings over the pork, serve with the scallions, and a nice big ol' glass of wine.

Adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks: Mr. Wilkinson's Vegetables: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Garden


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