People say that the most important thing about food is the freshness of the ingredients. This past weekend I did something I never thought to do – buy local-grown ingredients from the farmer’s market. As a twenty-something who frequently eats month-old lettuce, buying fresh food is almost unthinkable.
We decided to get pork chops at the St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market. Overwhelmed by the selection, we looked up which kind was best for frying. We wanted to be absolutely sure. Last time we tried to make steak, we bought the kind that was not fit for frying and overcooked it. We also consulted the person at the store, who approved our choice of center-cut chops.
After getting some corn and a baguette (and enjoying our favourite apple fritters with ice cream), we headed for the grocery store for the rest. The recipe we wanted to follow was a Chef’s Plate one that we previously tried. Instead of following it to the T, we eliminated some components like the goat cheese cherry salad. We couldn’t get a single shallot so we skipped on that too.
Sometimes cooking reminds me a lot of life – it’s all about compromise.
This time the cooking went smoothly. With the exception of the readiness of pork chops, because nothing is ever perfect in life. Even though we used a meat thermometer, halfway through our chops we felt a bit unsettled by the slight hint of pink. We also learned that the US and Canada have different standards for readiness. Canada cites 160°F while the US is okay with 145°F.
Aside from the minor hiccup, the finished product made for a great dish for summer evenings outside on the patio. We watched it indoors with dimmed lights and The 100, but who’s to say we can’t do differently? The pork chops were fragrant, well-seasoned, and tender. The sweet corn picked up the maple thyme butter from the chops and loaded our mouths with summer freshness. The Broccolini®’s saltiness brought balance back to our tongues. Although the baguette was not as soft and fresh as the freshly-baked bread we had at a bistro in Picton, it was a good choice of carbs.
If you need to cook for 2-4 people and need something easy but still dinner-guest-friendly, making some pork chops with roasted vegetables is a good way to go. It’ll be filling but still light on the stomach – a perfect match for some good, cold beer in the evening.
Serves 2 people
- 1 bunch of Broccolini® or broccoli
- 2 center-cut pork chops
- 1 small baguette
- 2 cobs of corn
- Some thyme
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp butter
- Salt, pepper, Italiano/Oregano
- 1 clove garlic / garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Slice Broccolini® into thin stalks, mix with 1tbsp of oil, garlic, and some salt, pepper, and Oregano/Italiano, bake until soft
- Cut baguette into 1/2 inch slices, drizzle with oil and bake for 6-8 minutes
- Season pork chops with salt and pepper, fry on medium-high heat, 2-3 minutes each side or til done
- Shave off corn kernels. Once pork chops are done, in the same pan, melt 1tbsp butter and sauté corn for 2-3 minutes, season with salt and pepper
- Once corn is done, in the same pan melt 1tbsp butter. Add thyme and maple syrup, stir for 30sec
- Drizzle maple butter over pork chops, serve with corn and Broccolini® on the side with baguette