If I were to show someone a snapshot of the Monday through Friday weather here over the past two and a half weeks, I’d be willing to bet that I’d have difficulty convincing anyone that we’re now slipping into mid-June. Isn’t the phrase “April showers”? At least the weekends are looking like summer.
So, despite the date, I’m still finding myself looking to cold weather fare. I promise, though, once the rain lets up, I’ll have some lighter, more summery creations to share!
That being said, dinner last night was an exercise both in comfort and creativity: pan-seared pork chops and a Dijon gravy with caramelized shallots and thyme, and buttermilk parsnip puree with roasted garlic.
In conceiving of this dish during the day, I imagined that the pork chops would finish with a subtle sweetness and the parsnips would be a salty, creamy contrast. The exact opposite was true. The pork chops browned up with a nice, salty crust and the gravy carried over the deep spice of the Dijon and shallots. The parsnips were smooth and tangy and slightly sweet, with an almost celeriac twang. It’s a fresh flavor that I’m looking forward to pairing with light, flaky white fish or tender sea scallops…once this unseasonable dreariness clears.
In the meantime:
Pork Chops & Dijon Gravy with Caramelized Shallots and Thyme
2 boneless loin chops
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon white rice flour
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt & pepper
Heat a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat with a light drizzle of EVOO. Season the pork chops with Kosher salt and black pepper and cook 5-8 minutes on each side, depending upon the thickness of the chops. Remove from pan and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium and add about a tablespoon of EVOO. Saute the shallots, allowing them to soften and brown. Once the shallots have caramelized, add a bit more EVOO if needed and whisk in the rice flour, creating a roux. Allow to cook for one minute. Whisk the chicken stock and Dijon mustard. Season with thyme, black pepper, and salt to tast. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the gravy to a bubble. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat, pour over the pork chops and serve.
Buttermilk Parsnip Puree with Roasted Garlic
5 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
2 cups of buttermilk
1 cup cream
1 whole head of garlic
Kosher salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Slice the top off of the whole head of garlic, just enough to expose each of the cloves. Place the garlic on a piece of foil and drizzle with EVOO. Wrap the foil into a package around the garlic and place in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Add the parsnips to a medium saucepan with the buttermilk and heavy cream. Bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat and cook until the parsnips are fork tender. Remove the parnsips to a food processor or blender using a slotted spoon.
Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from the head into the blender as well. Add a couple ladlefuls of the buttermilk cooking liquid and puree the parsnips and garlic until smooth, adding more liquid as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a pat of butter.