Brined rosemary pork chops; long-cooked kale – 9 Jan 2016

main160109D was concerned that we had a lot of wines in the cellar that we really should be drinking before they get too old. This is the kind of problem to have 🙂 So he chose one out that really wasn’t in that range, but had a character that he thought would be good for the meal we came up with to use one of them. I realized that one thing we had in abundance in the freezer (actually, they weren’t as abundant as I thought) were Costco boneless pork chops. I defrosted two of them and split them in half “flatwise” so they were closer to the 1″ thickness the Weber book (Real Grilling) asked for – though in fact more like 3/4″. D made the brine, which has salt, obviously (too much, we later thought), brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and a couple branches of rosemary, which we have in the back yard. These sat in the fridge for 4 hours, then on the counter for a half hour, were patted down and rubbed with olive oil and D grilled them. They were very tasty, though somewhat oversalted.

I made the long-cooked kale from David Tanis’ marvelous book One Good Dish. We’d made this before, a half recipe for three of us that evening, and it was marked “Outstanding!” from that time. For the two of us, a 2/3 lb bunch of kale (from Riverdog at the Saturday market) made generous – but not excessively so – servings. I washed the (quite clean) kale stem by stem, stemmed and cut crosswise into about 2″ lengths per the recipe, and then immersed in more water for a second rinse, and drained. setting160109D cut something equivalent to 2/3 of a medium yellow onion into thin strips, and I cooked these on med-hi or so, in 1 Tbsp olive oil, for about 5 minutes, then added chunked Spanish chorizo – perhaps 2 ounces, halved lengthwise and cut into 3/8″ or so slices, and a rounded “smidgen” of red pepper flakes. The onion is to be salted before cooking, and I remembered that late in cooking it, but measured out 1/4 tsp salt. When the red pepper and sausage have been cooked into the onions 2 minutes or so, kale is added by the handful, and each bit is also salted. I used another 1/4 tsp salt for this, and the overall salt was too much, so for this recipe I’d hold it to 1/3 tsp or less next time. When the kale was wilted, I added 1/3 cup water, but that looked like very little so added perhaps another 1/6 cup. This turned out to be fine, and we could really have added more. The kale cooked on lo for 30 minutes, covered, with periodic stirrings and checking to be sure the liquid was adequate. It’s supposed to be “brothy”.

Finally got to buy another Morell’s bread, my favorite of his, the multi-grain boule. Managed to resist till just before dinner.

wine160109The wine was excellent. D opened it about 5:30, and by 6:15 or so I put it into our nifty rolly decanter. By dinnertime (7:30ish?) it had mellowed out to an excellent flavor, and was decently matched to the meal (though less salt would have made the meal match better to the wine). The wine was a Burgundy, Aloxe-Corton 2009, Domaine Follin Arbelet. We got it at a tasting and sale at Solano Cellars a few years ago.

Later, D came by with a cookie from E. We’ve had these three times now for dessert, and I always have eaten mine before remembering to shoot it. One more chance…

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