This was just an excuse to
A. Eat pork.
B. Make Suzanne Goins’ potatoes romesco.
So, I got some thin sliced pork chops and put them in a big ziploc baggie with olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and a couple of cloves of minced garlic. I put them in as soon as I got home from the store so they could marinate in there for a few hours. But I bet an hour would be fine.
The broccoli is from farmer’s market. Drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper, and three cloves of garlic, roughly chopped. In a 400 oven for thirty minutes or until semi-charred and caramelized. Easy-peasy.
The potatoes went in the 12″ cast iron skillet, dressed in olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and a few cloves of garlic. Cover with foil and bake in a 425 oven for fifty minutes or until those potatoes are soft.
5 ancho chiles, or seriously, whatever dried chilies you have on hand.
2 tablespoons raw almonds
2 tablespoons blanched hazelnuts
1 1/4 cups(!) extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice country bread, about 1-inch thick
1/3 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 lemon, for juicing
A splash of sherry vinegar (can’t find it? Use a mild wine or balsamic vinegar instead)
Make the sauce:
Remove and discard the seeds and stems from the chiles, then soak them in warm water for 15 minutes to soften.
Strain the chiles, and pat dry with paper towels.
Meanwhile toast the nuts until they smell nutty and are golden brown, in a 375 oven or just in a skillet under a medium flame.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoon olive oil and when it’s hot, fry the slice of bread on both sides until golden brown.
Remove the bread from the pan and cool. Cut it into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
Return the pan to the stove over high heat. Add 2 tablespoon olive oil and the chiles and sauté for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often until the tomato juices have evaporated. Turn off the heat and leave the mixture in the pan.
See how easy this is?
In a food processor, pulse together the toasted nuts, garlic and fried bread until the bread and nuts are coarsely ground. Add the chile-tomato mixture and process for 1 minute more. With the machine running, slowly pour in the remaining 1 cup of olive oil and process until you have a smooth purée. Don’t worry, the romesco will “break” (separate into solids and oil); this is normal. Add the parsley, season to taste with lemon juice, sherry vinegar and more salt, if you feel it needs it.
Jesus, that shit is good.
Once you’ve done roasting your potatoes, transfer them to a large sauté pan or transfer cast iron skillet to stove-top and heat on high for 2 minutes. Pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, turn the heat to medium-high and wait 1 minute more.
Add the potatoes and smash them with your spatula or a fork until a little broken up.
Season with thyme leaves, salt and pepper and sauté them for 6 to 8 minutes until they are crispy on one side.
(If they are stuck to the pan, don’t try to move them, they will eventually release themselves).
After they’ve browned on the first side, turn them until they color on all sides.
Spoon the romesco sauce over the potatoes and stir.
(all stolen from Suzanne Goins via Smitten Kitchen. (Thanks, guys. Ladies. Whatever. I love you.)
For the pork chops, I just took them out of the fridge about an hour before I started cooking so they could get to room temp. before I slapped them in the pan. Take them out of the marinade and dry them off and salt and pepper them and fry them up, about three minutes on a side under a high flame so they get browned but don’t turn to leather. These are thin, super thin, so they cook fast.
Oh, yeah, I made a lime and garlic vinaigrette to pour over the chops. Juice of a lime, clove of garlic minced, 1/3 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Shake well, pour over the chops.
It was incredible.
The kid didn’t say anything much, but she filled her plate three times.
So, run and tell that, home boy.
One of my quirks is that I really do enjoy cleaning up almost as much as cooking.
I like eating best of all, though.