Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce

Ever get home and just want to whip something easy and (relatively) healthy together in 30 minutes or less? Found this recipe in Wini Moranville’s book, La Bonne Femme, and la préparation est tout simple.

I served the pork chops with a side of brussels sprouts (boiled in water and sautéed with butter/salt/pepper) but most any vegetable would do well as an accompaniment.


pork chops with dijon sauce

Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce (serves 2)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 bone-in pork chops
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • tablespoon of oil (I used safflower but most oils should be fine)
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • salt + pepper for taste

What to do:

  • Approximately 20-30 mins prior to cooking, I take out the pork chops, pat them dry, then salt and pepper them (this time, I actually added a little garlic powder too – but that’s purely optional).
  • Add the oil to the pan and heat it up on medium heat until simmering.seasoned pork chops
  • Add the seasoned pork shops to the pan and let it cook for approximately 8-10 mins per side, flipping only once.
    • NOTE: depending on the thickness of your pork chops, the cooking temperature will vary anywhere from 4-10 mins per side.  A good way to check? When the meat reaches an internal temperature of 145F degrees it’ll be perfectly moist and juicy inside).
  • Take the pork chops off the pan and set aside.
  • Using the oil in the pan (remove excess oil – you only want a sheen of oil), add the sliced shallots and sauté until translucent.  Add the white wine and chicken stock, bringing to a boil until the sauce as reduced a little.
  • Add the pat of butter and dijon mustard to the pan and mix with a silicon whisk – adjust sauce with salt/pepper/dijon/etc for taste.
  • Pour the dijon sauce on top of the pork chops and serve.

Bon Appétit!

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Homemade Pizza, from Scratch

A few weeks ago, my coworker shared with me her pizza secret — Trader Joe’s makes a pizza dough (that comes in regular, whole wheat, AND garlic + herb) that is easy to bake and yields pretty amazing results.  For $1.29, I’d say that’s a steal.  Making pizza, and especially the dough, has always been slightly intimidating but I figured I should give pizza dough-making a try in the wake of a successful baguette-making attempt (more on that in a later post); the fact that I currently have approx. 20lbs of flour at home (thank you, Costco!) also convinced me to try.

I’ve been loving King Arthur Flour’s recipe site and found a simple pizza dough recipe to try.  I ended up halving their recipe and was left with the perfect amount of dough to feed 3-4 people (the equivalent of two half sheet sized thin crust pizza).

While the whole process might seem time consuming and troublesome, I’d say it’s definitely worth trying at least once.  Worse case, if things go wrong, you can always run out to Trader Joe’s with $1.29 (+tax) and salvage dinner 🙂


 

homemade pizza

Homemade Pizza Dough (+ whatever toppings your heart desires) – adapted from KAF

What you’ll need:

  • 2.75-3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of lukewarm water
  • 0.5 tablespoon of sugar
  • 0.5 tablespoon of salt
  • 0.5 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 0.5 tablespoon of instant yeast

What to do:

  • Grab a big bowl and add in your water.  Then, add in the sugar, salt, olive oil, and instant yeast.
  • After giving the above solution a good mix until dissolved, slowly add in the flour.  I would start with 2.75 cups of flour and only add more if needed; you want a slightly tacky dough, not a super dryIMG_1893 one.
  • When all the flour is incorporated, lightly flour a flat surface and start kneading the dough by hand until you have a smooth, elastic dough; it took about 7-10 mins for this batch.  You could use a dough hook/stand mixer for but such a small amount (and such little kneading), it’s hardly worth the trouble washing the stand mixer.
  • Oil up a large bowl (you’ll want to ensure there’s room for the dough to rise) and set the dough inside.
  • Cover the bowl with a cloth/saran wrap, and let the dough rise for 1-2 hours (see? it’s a perfect, fast weeknight dinner!)
  • While the dough is rising, I use this time to prep my pizza toppings.
    • Easy Option #1 – caramelized onions, prosciutto, and parmesan (using olive oil as the “sauce”)
    • Easy Option #2 – basil, fresh mozzarella, + an egg (sauce: mix of tomato sauce, balsamic vinaigrette, + pepper)
  • When the time is up, gently remove the dough from the bowl and, with a knife, slice into two balls (each should be a little smaller than a half sheet baking sheet – assuming you make them thin crust).
  • Preheat your oven to 450F/230C.
  • On a lightly floured surface, slowly roll out ball #1 of your dough. You want to roll from the center, outward.  Roll it out, pick it up (carefully), lightly flour surface, and flip it over – repeat 2 to 3 times.
  • I find it’s easiest to get the dough to “stick” to your baking sheet if you lightly oil it up and then spread the pizza dough on it directly.
  • Pile on your toppings/sauce and when your oven has hit 450F/230C, pop it on in.  Bake for 15-18 mins (mine only took 15 mins this time).  You’ll know when the pizza is done; the crust is so thin, it’s really just a matter of the ingredients melding and “baking through”.
  • Bon appétit!
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(Petites) Pommes de Terre au Four

Need a simple side for dinner or an easy-to-make 4th of July BBQ dish? Look no further!


This particular dish was based off of Ina Garten’s Rosemary Roasted Potatoes recipe but lacking rosemary, I had to make due with some thyme that I had at home.  Prep took an entire 10-15 minutes but you’ll have to wait a good 45-60 minutes (the original Ina Garten recipe says 30 minutes but my baby yukon potatoes were still crunchy on the inside so I kept them in for another 15-30 mins).

Roasted Thyme Potatoes (the recipe is easily doubled, or tripled)

You’ll need:

  • 1.5 lbs of baby yukon potatoes
  • 3-4 tbsps of olive oil (and more if needed for basting)
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp of chopped thyme

What to do:

  • Give the baby yukon potatoes a good wash and trim off the ends of the potatoes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425F/215C degrees.
  • Next, taking a (paring) knife and holding the potato length-wise, cut from top to bottom within 1/4 inch of the bottom taking care to space out the slices approx. 1/8 inch apart.
  • Setting the potatoes aside, mix all the other ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Before setting the potatoes in the baking dish, roll them individually in the small bowl of olive oil/thyme/salt + pepper.   Line the potatoes up so the sliced side is facing upwards – as pictured above.
  • Pop the dish into the oven and set a timer for 30 mins; it took nearly 60 mins for mine to be done but it might’ve just been a glitch in my oven (I think I also had chicken in the oven at the same time for a short period).
  • Remove from oven, and enjoy! (we ate ours with a side of Kensington’s ketchup)

 

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