Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Local Foods Feast with Friends

Yesterday, we had a bunch of veggies to eat up, a clean apartment and no plans for the evening, so we decided to invite a couple of friends over for dinner. We have done almost no entertaining this summer. I blame it on the fact that it has been so hot. We have felt like eating simple meals that required limited cooking and lazing about in minimal clothing. Finally it is cooling off a bit, so we can start being more hospitable again.

We quickly decided on our menu. We prepared thin slices of raw beets and cucumbers with a smear of goat cheese for starters, plus our friends brought two types of feta, olives, hummus and pita. We almost didn't need dinner.

I made a corn and tomato salad with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, one clove of garlic finely minced, and a pinch of salt and pepper. The last few time I cut corn off a cob, I made a huge mess. I recently picked up a tip from the blog How to Cook Like Your Grandmother that made a big difference. He suggested placing the corn cob in the middle of a bundt pan or an inverted bowl inside a bigger bowl. I don't have a bundt pan, so I used the latter method. It worked like a charm. I don't know why I never thought of it myself.

The other side was green beans with lots of garlic and some sesame seeds, but the real star was the pork chops with mustard sauce and onions. I made the corn and tomato salad and my husband made everything else. Everything was fabulous. All of the vegetables came for our CSA share, and the pork chops came from the Winkler Family Farm (we bought them at Whole Foods). We also served some lacto-fermented sauerkraut from Hawthorne Valley Farm. Here is a photo of the spread:

Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce and Onions
2 pork chops
Old Bay
1 onion with its greens*, sliced

Set the pork chops on the counter and let them reach room temperature. Dust both sides with Old Bay. Heat a cast iron skillet. Coat the bottom with oil. When it begins to smoke add the pork chops. Cook about 5 minutes per side (more if they are really thick). Remove from the heat. Let rest and then slice. In a separate pan, cook the onions stirring frequently. Cook until caramelized.

Our onions from our CSA share come with the greens still attached. If you don't have onion with greens, you may use an additional onion, or some scallions.

Mustard Sauce
6 oz beer (we used Brooklyn Brown)
1 T mustard
2 T butter

After the pork chops have been removed from the skillet, drain off the excess fat. Scrape the bottom of the pan, and add the beer to help deglaze it. Turn on the burner to medium heat. Add the mustard and butter. Whisk continually, and let cook down and thicken.

The heat was too hot for our sauce, and it "broke". The butter separated from the other flavorings. Don't worry if that happens - it's still delicious. We served our on the side (we use our creamer as a gravy boat).

This post is part of Two for Tuesdays at A Moderate Life blog.


The Good Cook said...

Don't you just love serving all those local vegetables? it gives me such comfort.

Nancy said...

I love all the fresh vegetables, so great. The diner looks delicious too, I'd love to try the mustard sauce.

a moderate life said...

Wow! What a cool tip Drew gave you on the corn kerneling! I love sharing whole food traditional meals like this with like minded friends who are so in awe of the freshness! Thanks for sharing on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop. :) Alex@amoderatelife

Heather S-G said...

This is how we do our corn, too...invaluable for saving each and every kernel! All of the food has my tummy growling. Thanks for sharing w/ t4t =)

Christy said...

That beer and mustard sauce would have my husband swooning! I will be using it next time I make chops inside! Thanks for linking this to Two for Tuesdays!

Hunger and Thirst said...

I look at your pictures, and the food all looks so familiar to me. And it's because you cook the way I do, with a lot of the "hmmm, what needs to be used, what do I have on hand?" method. Love it! And love that you shared it with friends. This is exactly the type of post that we can't get enough of at Two for Tuesday.

julie said...

Yum! That is quite the local feast you whipped up! I love the look of that corn salad, yummy!

Unknown said...

My kind of dinner! All finger food and yummy flavors. Way to go!

Thechattymom said...

I just stopped by to say thank you for stopping by my little neck of the woods...and hadn't eaten breakfast yet....and now I'm wanting this for lunch RIGHT NOW! You have my tummy begging for some of that pork.

Emily said...

My, all this delicious looking food is making me really hungry! You have some great photos there!

BTW, would you be interested in exchanging links with me? I would be pleased to give others the chance to find your blog. :)

Hunger and Thirst said...

Hi! I wanted to thank you again for joining up with the Two for Tuesday blog hop this week. I loved this spirit of this post so much that I've decided to feature it among my picks for Best of the Blog Hop. Come check it out on Sunday night!

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