I grew up eating pork. My father was a butcher and owned a small chain of grocery stores. Food supported us. Food sustained us. Food was why we got up in the morning, and that feeling is still with me.
Years ago, I worked on a TV show with a very famous nutritionist. I always thought she was mean because she was hungry. No matter what the crew was eating, she would comment on what was wrong with it: Too much sugar, too much fat, not enough fiber...I did lose ten pounds in a month on the production but also fantasized about strangling and roasting her. I thought she'd be stringy like goat. She made me hungry for fun.
Recently, Cindie and I worked for the National Pork Board. We did a small video at the beach with the funny and very fun Donald Faison.
There are some great tips in the video. It's part of the Pork Be Inspired marketing campaign. And guess what? I came home and thought to myself, "I used to love pork chops, why haven't I been cooking them?"
So the following evening, pork cooking commenced.
I bought two center cut loin pork chops on the bone. There was a thin layer of cover fat and each one was one-inch thick. Not as expensive as beef and just as satisfying. One chop with vegetables was the perfect portion per person.
I mixed 1/2 cup of A-1 sauce (my father's favorite) with 1/2 cup Agave syrup, then squeezed a fresh orange into the marinade.
I cook almost extensively in cast iron because I like it. It gives my chops or burgers a beautiful color when sautéing. I colored both sides of my chops on high heat for about two minutes per side, then transferred them to a roasting pan.
I finished them in a 350-degree oven for 4 minutes. They were still slightly pink inside. Not dangerous; only
delicious. While my chops were in the oven, I reduced my marinade until thick and like syrup. Put it in a small pitcher, and then cooked the green beans right in the same pan.
Plated my chops, added the beans and poured my sauce. One pan dinner in ten minutes.
Pork is perfect for summer; simultaneously light and decadent, and tastes great with any summer fruit. The next time you're at a loss for dinner...remember pork makes life more fun!