Beginnings And Endings
We've been eating out a lot lately - I guess everyone is in the same boat as the old year ends and the new one begins - so it felt really good to make a homey meal in our own kitchen for a change.
Dorothy Parker once defined eternity as "a ham and two people." She was profoundly wise. I love ham but even a small one is the Energizer Bunny of the meat world - it just never quits! So, I had purchased a couple of smoked pork chops as a way of having ham-like flavor that doesn't last forever. I planned a simple pan frying to prep them, as they are already fully cooked.
Rooting around in the vegetable bin for something to accompany them, I came up with a head of Savoy cabbage and remembered my California Aunt Sally (as distinct from my Connecticut Aunt Sally) who sautéed purple cabbage with bacon bits in bacon drippings as a side dish. I thought I could do a similar riff by using the pork chop drippings, the salty water from the package and a little green onion for color and extra flavor.
That's all I did. Once the chops were removed, I threw in the water from their package (just a tablespoon or so), thinly sliced cabbage and green onion and tossed it around in the fat left in the pan until it was just beginning to relax. One pan to wash, good flavors to savor. What could be easier?
At the end of the meal, I grabbed the bones and part of my unfinished chop, popped them into some water and made a little soup base from the leftovers. Now, I'm trying to decide what kind of soup would be great with those beginnings.