Nothing says I’m so glad to be seeing you for the first time in 16 years like a 3-inch thick bone-in pork chop, right? I’m fairly certain that there’s a Hallmark card to that effect – or if there isn’t, there certainly should be. I would definitely buy that card for my sister, Lisa.
Food, adult beverages and storytelling were the major themes of our reunion weekend. Remind me to tell you later about the time I tried to eat a worm when I was 2 – a sure sign of my future culinary daring (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). As surreal as it is to sit across the table from someone who has changed your diapers and seen you throw some very entertaining temper tantrums, I had a blast reconnecting with my sister.
We hit some of my favorite restaurants: Federal Jack’s for amazing lobster rolls and beer on cask, Mekhong Thai where we scarfed down crab rangoon and talked until they closed the place, Boda which IS my happy place in Portland (best Mojitos EVER), and Bintliff’s for brunch for the best egg’s benedict and bloody mary’s to be had. Oh, and how could I forget the 1 hour plus foot soak/massage at Soakology ?!
As much fun as having other people feed me is, and believe me, I don’t undervalue that, it was very important to us both that we spend at least one night in the kitchen together, creating something beautiful to eat. We discovered our shared passion for cooking early into our relationship, and we fairly regularly message each other about our latest culinary experiments. So, on our last night together, after we shook ourselves out of our food/massage coma, we went to Whole Foods Market in Portland searching for inspiration, which we found in the form of the aforementioned pork chops. We quickly decided to pair them with a pan sauce of mustard, capers, white wine and shallots, and some organic kale sautéed with garlic scape (the green shoot that grows out of the garlic bulb – delicate amazing garlic flavor).
As we sat around my kitchen table laughing, ignoring the fact that I had to drop her off at the airport the next day, I couldn’t help but be grateful to have this amazing woman in my life as my sister …… and that I’ve moved past the worm eating stage of my culinary journey.
Pork Chops in Pan Sauce
- 2 Three-inch bone in pork chops
- 2 Tbsp Grapeseed oil or Canola oil
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or dry vermouth)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 garlic scape, sliced thin (or 1 glove of garlic)
- 1 bunch kale (stems removed, and cut into manageable pieces)
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Bring pork chops to room temperature, pat dry with paper towels, lightly salt and pepper each side.
- Heat grapeseed or canola oil over med-high heat in pan large enough to fit both pork chops. Sear on first side 3 minutes and then cook the second side until it turns brown, approximately 10 minutes.
- Cook until pork chops are 150 degrees F, Remove from heat and tent with aluminum foil.
- Sauté shallots in pan until soft.
- Deglaze pan with white wine/vermouth and broth, and simmer until reduced by half.
- Meanwhile sauté garlic scape (or garlic) in olive oil until softened, add kale, salt, pepper and rice wine vinegar, cover and allow to wilt. Watch this carefully, it will not take long.
- Go back to your pan sauce, whisk in mustard and capers until combined. Add the juices from your resting pork chops.
- Remove sauce from heat, whisk in butter and lemon juice. Pour over plated pork chops and ENJOY!!!