Dinner for Two

January 28, 2008

Sometimes I am so grateful that I’m only cooking for two.  🙂

This meal was a great end to the weekend. Simple, but really, really delicious.

Bone-in Center Cut Pork Chops
Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
Sautéed Zucchini with Garlic

We’ll start with the Bone-in Center Cut Pork Chops.

  • Pre-heat oven to 375°
  • Rub both sides with a spice rub of kosher salt, pepper, and dried sage.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes at room temperature on a clean surface (or the butcher paper they were wrapped in).
  • Heat vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet until hot; add chops.
  • Sear both sides of the pork chops for 4 minutes per side, until dark brown.
  • Place skillet into the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the chops are cooked through.

I know you were probably taught that pork has to be cooked until it is completely white (and dry and tough for that matter), but it’s really okay if there’s a little pink in the center.

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

The truth is, these are the same mashed potatoes from the previous meal. But to kick them up a bit and make them less like leftovers and more like incredibly good mashed potatoes, I added some “caramelized” onions. And honestly, they aren’t true caramelized onions, which if made right take hours to prepare. Instead these are onions that are first browned in a pan, then baked until dark brown. Not quite as good as the real thing, but certainly delicious enough.

  • Slice a medium yellow onion into 1/8″ slices.
  • Toss into a pan with hot olive oil, and sauté for 10 minutes, or until brown, like this:

  • Bake in a 350° – 375° oven for about 20 minutes, or until dark brown and soft. They will be sticky and sweet.
  • Mix onions into a batch of mashed potatoes (use your favorite recipe, or this one if you don’t have a favorite) and serve.

Sautéed Zucchini

Unlike the par-boil/sauté method described for vegetables like green beans, I like to simply sauté zucchini and other squash in a pan with a little oil and garlic.

  • Quarter the zucchini lengthwise into spears
  • Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan
  • Add one clove minced garlic, and fry for a minute.
  • Toss zucchini spears in the oil and sauté for 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Add a splash of white wine (or water, if you must) and cover for a few minutes until the zucchini is tender.

It’s that easy.

Enjoy everyone!


One comment

  1. how small an amount of oil are we talkin here? Often when I try and sautee delicate vegetables like yellow squash I end up with soggy squash instead of the nicely browned, firm kind you want.

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