Saturday, July 2, 2011

Swiss Cooperation

Is there any way to improve on pork chops and onions? I would have said a heartfelt "No!" before tasting this one-pan dinner, my favorite kind both for saving dishwashing and for multiplying flavor.

When you cook all the ingredients for dinner in the same wide frying pan, nothing of the flavors is lost - it's a sort of exponential thing - and when you use Swiss chard as a cushion for oniony pork chops, you get flavor to the power of ten.

This dinner started with slowly caramelizing two kinds of onions, the Egyptian walking onion and a yellow onion, with a little butter to grease the skids. When the onions begin to brown and smell like the open gates of heaven, push them aside to continue cooking at a slower pace and lay the pork chops in the oniony, buttery bottom of the pan over the same slow heat. The slow heat is important for keeping the chops juicy. When the chops are deeply, richly, mouthwateringly browned on both sides and just pale pink inside, remove them and the onions to a plate to await the rest of the magic.

Into that same buttery sorcery, add three nice minced cloves of fresh garlic, stirring them around before adding about ten Swiss chard leaves that have been washed, tough stems removed with a sharp knife and coarsely chopped, and cook just until the water clinging to the leaves evaporates and the chard melts down into a wonderful, wilted dark green puddle, about three minutes. Toss it a few times to be sure that all the chard has gotten introduced to that garlicky goodness, then plate it and top it with a fat pork chop, which in turn gets topped with the onion melange.

This is dinner magic. The slightly bitter greens both enhance the rich meat and cut through the sweetness of the onions to do a happy little tap dance on the tongue. In turn the buttery alliums rescue the chard from astringency. You can't go wrong when you have pork chops and onions in the house but you can reach the heights when you have cooperation from the Swiss chard as well.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

I'm drooling AND I think I saw pork chops in the supermarket here, I may just give this a go!

Saturday, July 02, 2011  
Blogger Greg said...

Restaurant style....nice char and extra points for styling.

Saturday, July 02, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Beauteous. I'm going to try your slow method for pork chops; I always end up with toast.

Saturday, July 02, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Ms Mouse, I hope you find your chops!

Greg, gee, thanks.

Cookiecrumb, if you don't burn the onions, the chops will be right because those both need a slow cooking.

Saturday, July 02, 2011  

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