First, though, I had to tend to the pork chops. I bought some thick-cut chops last week at Polly's Country Market which turned out to be thicker than anything even Jeff the Butcher at the New Chelsea Market has on display. OK, so they were more like pork steaks.
Rosemary-garlic rub for two pork chops:
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
The pork chops, rubbed with the rosemary-garlic paste and ready for the grill. We grilled them over medium-high direct heat (gas grill) for about 5 1/2 minutes per side followed by 5 minutes of rest on the counter. They were fully cooked through but not overdone. Take into account the thickness of your pork chops when grilling. There's nothing worse than dry, overdone pork. I rarely cook meat by temperature and only use my meat thermometer when I cook something really large such as a roast. For everything else I cook by time and use the "finger test" for doneness
Now, for the roasted broccoli (recipe for 4 servings):
- 1 large head broccoli (about 1 3/4 lbs)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
Once the oven with baking sheet inside has reached 500 degrees, quickly remove sheet from oven. Transfer broccoli to baking sheet and spread evenly, placing flat cut sides down. Return sheet to oven and roast until stalks are well browned and tender and florets are lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes. Serve immediately.
I left out the stalks and just used the florets when I made this. I think I will use the stalks next time as the end result was even more than I'd hoped for. It was indeed broccoli that didn't taste like broccoli. Even John ate a piece.
The broccoli, tossed with the oil, sugar, salt, and pepper, ready to go in the oven.
Pork chops, off the grill and resting.
I've become enamored of using less common grains as side dishes. Grains such as quinoa, bulgur, and brown rice. Bulgur, especially. Bulgur is cracked wheat which has been essentially left whole, yielding a higher fiber and protein content than other, more refined grains. I like it for its nutty flavor and robust texture. It lends itself well to being mixed with other ingredients. For this dinner I decided to make bulgur pilaf with dried apricots since the recipe was conveniently on the same page of Gourmet Magazine as the recipe for the rosemary pork chops. This pilaf recipe as written serves 4 (I halved it to feed the 2 of us).
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup bulgur
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
The finished product.
Of course, no meal would be complete without a glass of wine and a cat on my lap. Wine: Acacia Pinot Noir (Sonoma, California) 2004. Cat: Darwin.