Monday, June 4, 2012

A Full Pantry

 The heart warming joy of a full pantry

I'm not sure I can explain, the feelings of
Settled, Safe and Belonging  it brings to me to glance up and see
shelves filled with jars of lentils, nuts, grains and dilly beans
bowls of sweet potatoes, onions and garlic

to open a cupboard door and see cat treats and honey,
homemade granola and rice paper wrappers

A foodie friend was snooping thru my fridge on Friday night
and found my preserved lemons, and avocado oil

Kalamata olives, toasted almonds and new wines
made it easy to coax them into staying for a few hours and a wonderful serendipitous visit

It has been raining cats and dogs for three days since. 
All cozied in and not wanting to go out I have been cooking
with everything I can find within the house

Rustling through my spice cupboard I found a small jar of Fennel Pollen
that I had bought with a friend when she needed some for a Mario Batali recipe in February

It inspired these truly incredible pork chops, which I am sorry, I was unable to
get a good picture of, all pretty from the oven.

serves 2

Two 1 1/2 inch thick bone in pork chops
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 heavy T  fennel pollen
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1/4" thick slices
1 bulb of fennel, cored and sliced into 1/4" thick slices
 (optional - I didn't have any but I thought it would be good)
3 parsley sprigs
Olive oil
Couple splashes of white wine or milk

Pat the pork chops dry and season them generously on both sides with
kosher salt, black pepper and the fennel pollen

I did this a few hours in advance, covered them and let 
them sit in the fridge to season

If you do this, take them out about 1/2 hour before cooking them to
warm them up a bit

Sprinkle the garlic cloves on the bottom of a 9" baking dish
Layer the onions and fennel (if using) on top of the garlic, sprinkle lightly with kosher salt
 Lay the parsley sprigs over the veggies
Place the seasoned pork chops in a single layer over it all
Drizzle with olive oil and a few splashes of white wine, or milk, 
or water, if you have neither of the others

Roast, un-covered, in a 400 degree oven for approximately 18-20 minutes
I like my pork chops to temp on a meat thermometer at 150 degrees
Remove them from the oven, cover with a piece of wax paper or foil and let
rest for 10 minutes

Set the pork chops aside.
 Pour the veggies -minus the parsley sprigs- and pan juice into
the bowl of a food processor and pulse until somewhat creamy, but not smooth
Smear the sauce on the plates and lay the pork chops on top
Garnish with fresh parsley if so desired

OMG, these were SO good
I served them with roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli

No doubt worth investigating the fennel pollen

Enjoy your day, soggy or not!

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