catch up sunday
When I was ready to make this dish. I went to Whole Foods and picked up a beautiful pair of 1-1/2” thick pork chops; they were just $6.99/lb. When I went to start cooking, I realized I forgot to brine the chops…oh no! I made a quick brine and had the chops in for just 30 minutes versus the 2 hours the recipe called for.
While the chops were brining, I started to prepare the rest of the dish, which only takes 30 minutes. The parsnips were sliced and cut into 3-inch matchsticks and cooked in boiling water until tender.
After a short brine, I started to sear the chops over medium-high heat in a cast iron frying pan. Three minutes a side was all that was needed before they were whisked into a preheated oven to bake until the internal temperature reached 140°. Next it was on to the sauce. Taking another cook’s advice, and using the same pan, I didn’t wipe the pan as the recipe suggested. Why waste good pan juices and fond? A bit of butter was gently cooked until it began brown, then the sage and dates were added. The sauce was seasoned with a few grinds of pepper and some lemon juice added for brightness.
To serve, I placed the chops atop the parsnips and drizzled the butter sauce over. The sauce really pulled the dish together and made for a satisfying meal. You had a bit of tartness from the lemon juice and a hint of sweetness from the parsnips. Although the pork chops were only brined for 30 minutes, they were succulent and moist. I don’t know whether it was the brining or the meat itself from Whole Foods, but they were mouthwatering. One note, as I halved the recipe, I only used 6 dates, they next time I think few more would be nice.
Believe it or not, I found yet another boneless chicken recipe! This one is from The New York Times Cooking app. The recipe is by Dawn K. Perry for Crispy Frico Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Thyme.
I needed a recipe in which is use up some of the thyme I purchased for the previous recipe. I could have placed the stems in a bag and dried them, but why not use fresh when you can? For the recipe you’ll also need freshly grated Parmesan cheese, boneless and skinless chicken breasts, olive oil, mixed mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake, oyster or maitake, red onion, fresh thyme (oregano), and red wine vinegar. My local ShopRite sells small packages of mixed mushrooms that worked out perfectly.
As always I read through other readers comments. They one thing that stuck out was the fact that in some situations, the Parmesan cheese did not adhere too well to the meat. One suggestion was to brush the meat with some olive oil and they dip into the grated cheese, another suggested an egg wash then cheese. I decided to dredge the chicken breasts in a mixture of flour seasoned with salt and pepper and grated Parmesan cheese. Next, I dipped the chicken in egg wash and then another dredged in the flour/cheese mixture. I did this early in the afternoon as I wanted the chicken to rest on a rack and dry out in the refrigerator before sautéing in the olive oil.
I cooked the chicken in a cast iron frying pan as I wanted to be able to put it in the oven. After browning the chicken, its transferred to a plate. In the same pan, you sauté the mushrooms, onion and herbs. On the veggies were softened the chicken goes on top and is popped into the oven to finish cooking. At this point, I added a bit more grated Parmesan cheese on top of the chicken.
To serve, I placed the chicken on the dinner plate and drizzled the red wine vinegar on top of the vegetables and served them alongside. What a tasty dish! The strong, nutty flavor was a great boast to the sometimes-bland chicken breast. My method of coating the chicken worked perfectly. The combination of the minty thyme with mild red onion flavor added color interest and a subtle flavor against the Parmesan. Overall, a gratifying dinner. Did I mention it takes just 35 minutes to prepare?
Update – Since I posted the Classic Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie recipe, my husband has a had chance to eat a few more cookies to develop a better opinion. He prefers my original oatmeal cookie, Amy Oh’s Very Best, instead of Melissa Clark’s. He feels Melissa’s taste more like a store-bought cookie than a homemade. What can I say other than #husbandeatsbetter!
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Sage, Dates and Parsnips
By David Tanis
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes, plus at least 2 hours for brining
¼ cup kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more for boiling
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large thyme sprig
4 bone-in pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick (about 2 pounds)
2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 3-inch sticks
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons salted butter
12 large sage leaves
12 pitted medjool dates, halved
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ lemon, plus more to taste
Crispy Frico Chicken Breast with Mushrooms and Thyme
By Dawn Perry
The New York Times/Cooking
Yield: 4 Servings
Time: 35 minutes
2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup), plus more as needed
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
1-pound mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, oyster or maitake, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red onion, halved and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
4 fresh thyme or oregano sprigs
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
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A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.