January 26, 2009

I take back *everything* I ever said about the winter garden

Tonight, E became an official winter garden supporter, when he stated the phrase above.

Until now, he's been conflicted. It's nice to have a garden year round, and it's a fun hobby, plus, it keeps me less stressed, and it provides us with some nice additions to meals. But, at the end of the day, it's mainly dark green leafy things, which, frankly, if you ask him, suck, compared to the glorious harvests of summer.

That is, the winter garden sucked until tonight.

Silly me, I waited 'til now to apply pork to the situation. What was I thinking? Pork makes everything better!

Herbed Pork Chops over Brussel Sprouts and Red Onions

-2 large pork chops, washed and dried
-2 sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves removed from the stem
-1 large sprig fresh rosemary, needles removed from the stem
-2 sprigs lemon thyme, leaves removed from the stem
-1 red onion, sliced into 1 cm rounds and chopped into quarters or sixths
-2-3 T olive oil
-1/2 meyer lemon, in quarters, seeds removed, ready for squeezing
-black pepper
-sea salt
-2 T pickled horseradish purée
-and, of course, from the winter garden, 1 stem of fresh brussel sprouts


1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Wash and Prep vegetables. Remove all brussel sprouts from the stem, wash thoroughly, cut the stem-ends from the sprouts so that they have a flat end to set in the baking dish. (NOTE: If you are using a 9X13 Pyrex dish, remember to keep it fully on the counter while chopping brussel sprouts on the cutting board. Otherwise, it will weigh the cutting board down, on the portion of the cutting board that is not on the counter, and you will have many shards of pyrex to clean up...you could even lose a few brussel sprouts that had been placed in the dish...theoretically speaking.)

2. Layer onions and brussel sprouts (chopped stem flat-side down) into a baking dish.

3. Mince herbs. Mix with olive oil, salt, pepper, and horseradish. Sprinkle 1/2 the mixture over brussel sprouts and onions in the baking dish.

4. Wash and dry pork chops. Spoon mixture on all sides of pork chops and layer on top of vegetables. It should look more or less like this:


5. Place into pre-heated 400F oven for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute bell, remove the dish and flip the pork chops (they should be white on the side you put down and slightly pink on the side you put to the top). Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over the chops and vegetables. Return the dish to the oven and turn heat up to 500F, and set the timer for 10 minutes.

6. At the timer, check the dish. Turn the pork chops one final time. Squeeze the other lemon over the non-lemon-flavored side for another 5 minutes of heat.

7. Remove from the oven. Arrange on two plates, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before eating a delicious meal (which could look something like this):


8. Enjoy! (And enjoy the validation of the winter garden because these truly are the best brussel sprouts you've ever had in your life!)

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