24 July, 2011

Tonight's Dinner

I hated pork chops when I was a kid, I mentioned that yesterday. And no matter how Angie Doom tried to dress them up with sweet fruity compliments, I still couldn't get into them and so, for about four, mayber four and a half years now, the only time a pig product enters my belly has been when I've had sausage, bacon, or ham. But I would not eat pork. I figured that it was just the cut of meat or the part of the pig or whatever that turned me off of it.
And then, when Little John was out here, he made a fantastic pork roast stuffed with mushrooms; so tasty was it that it marked the first time in years I voluntarily ate pork and, further, ate mushrooms without hesitation or wincing. So, I figured that I would try a variation on John's recipe. It had to be a variation because I bought two third-pound loin chops (not a roast) and I have no intention of ever deliberately purchasing mushrooms.
The recipe is devilishly simple.
First take two thin slices of red onion (or white, whichever is your preferred poison - I still have a smoker's tongue, thus a diminished sense of taste, so I just go for the color when it comes to onion) and two medium cloves of garlic (I imagine, though, that one large clove would do you just fine).
Finely, and I mean fucking finely mince these together with some fresh oregano and thyme. (Another thing that I like about having cut super back on my smoking habit is that I have a nose again that can discern the difference between basil and oregano. When I was rocking a pack and a half per day, it all smelled the same. Now, I don't smoke unless I drink so, yeah, I still smoke, just significantly less now and my senses of taste and smell are coming back slowly but surely. In fact, when I went cold turkey two winters back, I could smell the difference between basil and oregano in about twenty four hours.)
Now, spread your minced veggies and herbs on one side of the chop. Make sure you portion things out. I used two slices of onion and two medium cloves of garlic because I had two chops. Adjust your shit accordingly.
Otherwise, yeah, this is all that's going in there. No real trick to it, just four little things. Bear in mind, though, that I'm using fresh oregano and thyme, not the dehydrated stuff from the spice rack. How much oregano and thyme should you use? I couldn't tell you, maybe a tablespoon of each, really. I just grabbed a few branches and started pulling off leaves until it looked reasonable.
Next, fold the chops over and tie them up. I used sewing thread because my dumb ass didn't think ahead. It did the trick, though. Top the chops with some black pepper and coarse Kosher salt. Coarse Kosher salt has a very powerful taste, so use it sparingly. The pepper? I did four grinds on each chop. (Also, I love me some Old Bay seasoning, so I threw that on as well.)
By now you've preheated your oven (You have been preheating, right?) to somewhere in the neighborhood of 350°F - 425°F (you metric ponces can look up Celsius on your own time) and you can pop these in for thirty minutes.
NOW, I know that three fifty to four twenty five is a pretty wide range but here's what happened: I know a lot of meat (not poultry) takes about a twenty five to thirty minutes at four twenty five to four fifty, so I set the oven accordingly. After ten minutes, though, my chops were already white and sizzling so I backed it off to three fifty for the remaining twenty minutes to A) maintain moisture and B) not burn the little fuckers.
Half an hour later, this is what you'll have. I cut the threads before taking the picture not so much to show you the inside but because I nearly forgot to take a photo; I was hungry, goddamnit.
The results were very savory and very pleased was I that I found something to move me out of my bell pepper rut (I will eat the pussy out of some fucking bell peppers, you don't even know) as well as my Hispanic and Italian ruts.
The seasoning was not overwhelming and the flavor of the meat shined through while the veggies and herbs were present and complimentary.
What did you eat for dinner?

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