Saturday, December 22, 2012

Food Wishes' Smothered Pork Chops & Romano Bean Salad

This smothered pork chops recipe from FoodWishes was immediately added to my "Must Make" list when it was published in 2010 - the year I was busy reviewing restaurants, testing recipes (through S) and writing for the food column in Critic. I don't know why, but it took us almost exactly two years (recipe published 27 Feb 2010, chops made 18 Feb 2012) to get around to cooking this! Tsk tsk.

We paired it with another of Chef John's recipes - the cold romano bean salad. The smothered chops were deliciously rich, with the blended flavours of mildy sweet caramelised onions, savoury seasoned meat and stock and tangy buttermilk. I remember being surprised at the sauce's sourish note, but that was because S did the cooking and I had forgotten the details of the recipe (i.e. the buttermilk). Against advice, we did not leave the beans to marinate overnight, so the flavours were quite subtle. Still its acidity, minty freshness and mild bite of garlic made it a very good accompaniment to the saucy, rich chops. Because it is so easy to throw together, I have made this delicious salad many times since, with green beans, lashings of grated garlic, salt, a good douse of olive oil and some white wine vinegar, intensifying the flavour to my liking. I love this salad freshly made, with the blanched beans still warm. Irresistibly good.

You may have noticed that I can rarely be bothered to make anything that is going to take longer than an hour to be ready (which is partly why these beans have never made it to the fridge for an overnighter). I am also very slowly (because I don't cook very often) training myself to moderate my use of ingredients - I'm too impatient to wait for the flavours to develop and have a tendency to throw in too much.... (especially seasoning). My writing betrays this tendency when I use phrases like, "lashings of..." or "there's no such thing as too much...". Onwards and upwards as they say! Happy holidays. 

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