Naturally, I’m not a typical meat and potatoes kind of gal. Not that I have anything against traditional meat and potatoes, because trust me, there are some really delicious ways to make meat and potatoes. I just am generally more of an adventurous eater. I like to explore the culinary world.
Even so, the other night meat and potatoes sounded pretty darn good. These recipes are a twist on the classic. Thinly sliced panko crusted pork chops and gravy, Ina Garten’s potato basil puree, and kale sauteed with bacon and white wine. It’s definitely more of a comfort food meal, and not a figure friendly one. Although, kale is full of nutrients. Let that ease your conscience as you eat the pork chops and potatoes.
The pork chops are so incredibly easy and so delicious! Although, I think anything coated in panko tends to turn out quite well. I served them with a pan gravy that took about two seconds to make.
For the pork chops:
6 boneless thinly sliced pork chops
panko bread crumbs (about 3/4 cup)
1 egg & a splash of milk
olive oil for pan frying
For the gravy:
chicken stock (1/4 cup)
1.5 tablespoons of flour
1. In a medium sized shallow bowl, beat 1 egg and a splash of milk together. In another shallow bowl or plate, add the panko bread crumbs.
2. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel.
3. Dip the pork chops in the egg/milk mixture, making sure that the pork chops are covered with the mixture (so the panko will stick).
4. Move the pork chops into the bowl with the panko bread crumbs and coat each side well. You may have to press the panko into the pork chop with your fingers to make sure it sticks.
5. In a large skillet, heat a good amount of olive oil (about 1/8 of a cup) over medium heat. Once the oil is hot (you can test this buy putting a bit of the panko bread crumbs in the oil. If the oil sizzles and bubbles collect around the panko, then it’s ready), add the pork chops (3 at a time so you don’t over crowd the pan). The pork chops should cook about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are a nice golden brown color and cooked completely through. This should not take too long, since the pork chops are thin.
6. Once the pork chops are cooked, move them to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off any excess fat.
7. For the gravy, in a plastic container add the flour and half of the chicken stock. Put the lid on the container and shake well until the flour and chicken stock are combined. Add this mixture to the hot pan with the pork drippings and whisk well to avoid any lumps! Add in the remainder of the chicken stock as you whisk. Continue whisking until the gravy thickens and there are no lumps. If the gravy is too thick, add a bit more chicken stock and whisk again.
For Ina Garten’s potato basil puree recipe, click here. This recipe is one of the best mashed potato recipes I’ve ever had. It’s thick, creamy, and full of flavor. Everything mashed potatoes should be. The twist is the basil, which adds an overall freshness to an otherwise pretty heavy dish. It’s an awesome combination and it was a great way to use up the fresh basil I have been growing all summer.
Kale is not an easy vegetable to cook with. Like any dark green veggie, it can sometimes turn bitter when you cook with it. When I cook with kale, I usually roast it in the oven. However, this time, I decided I’d be brave and try to sautee it. Plus, add bacon, and anything tastes good.
For the kale:
4 slices of bacon and the drippings from those slices
1 small red onion chopped
6 cloves of garlic minced
16 oz. of fresh kale, trimmed and washed (the shop rite and trader joe’s bags of kale are perfect)
1/4 cup of white wine
a splash of white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a large dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.
2. Cut the bacon into small bite sized chunks and add it to the pot. Cook until the bacon is crisp and has given off most of it’s fat. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel to drain.
3. Add the onion to the bacon drippings and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the kale and continue to stir until the kale starts to wilt. Kale is like spinach, it wilts down quite a bit.
5. Add the white wine and scrape up any bacon bits from the bottom of the pot. Let the Kale cook with the wine for about 8-10 minutes.
6. Add the splash of vinegar, salt and pepper and stir. Let the Kale cook for another 1-2 minutes.
7. Turn the heat off and add the bacon pieces back to the pot. Serve, and enjoy!