D decided it was time for our Christmas in July dinner, so he pulled a Costco boneless pork loin chop out of the freezer and figured out a great dinner to make out of it.
He cut the thick chop into two normal-thickness ones, then cooked the chops, topped with sage, in olive oil. He kept them warm while deglazing the pan with Dijon mustard and butter, per a suggestion in Alice Waters’ Simple Cooking book. He also cooked some apples from our tree – which are overrunning the house, and are cooking, not eating, apples – with shallots. He thinks the volume of shallots was nearly that of the apple, but less than that. He began by cooking the shallots in butter, then added the apple slices and salted.
He turned this off, but when rewarming it “was all getting weird” so he added a bit of balsamic vinegar to unstick the stuff from the pan so it would not burn, and to deglaze the pan. It was FABULOUS. The apple stuff went really well with the pork chop – no surprise – but also with the mustard sauce, which led D to consider making it again and adding a bit of mustard. He also cooked the black rice I found at Costco earlier this year but had never ventured to use. It was tasty, and had a good bite to it. Great dinner!
For Christmas Wine we had another from Domaine Berthelemot, “Beaune Premier Cru, 2010 Belissand.” A most excellent wine, which D got at the North Berkeley Wine mega-sale this month.
Then for dessert, D made an apple tarte tatin – basically, a caramel sauce is made in an oven-proof fry pan (cast iron), then topped with apples (or other fruit) and a batter, and this is baked. It was (is) quite delicious.
The reason I’m including lunch is that this is where the cooked apple thing originated. D cooked apples with butter and balsamic vinegar, I think, and mused that they might be really interesting cooked with onions. Wow, was he right! We had pressed sandwiches with Kentucky Legend ham slices and I think emmentaler (writing this lunch bit the 29th), with mayonnaise and Honey-Baked Hams’ “champagne mustard.” I see we had a peach that wanted eating, too. These are from Woodleaf Farm, whom we see at the Tuesday and Saturday farmers’ markets in Berkeley.
Here’s the Acme Long Italian loaf D used for the sandwiches (and we had later for dinner). He cut off a bit of the top of the bread to even it out (we ate that) and split the pieces horizontally for sandwiches.