Monday, September 27, 2010

Pork Chop and Mushroom Salad

I remember seeing a TV show several years ago where a chef visits an unsuspecting household and prepares a dinner for the family. I think he had an hour to prepare the meal, and he could only use the food in their pantry and fridge. The family always seemed to have a really well stocked kitchen: shrimp in the freezer, some fresh herbs in the fridge, at least a couple of vegetables, beans, rice, etc. I was not that impressed with the chef's results. I thought that anyone would be able to come up with the idea of shrimp and asparagus risotto with a side of sauteed vegetables if you had the same resources he was working with.

At the time, I was single, living by myself and working lots of hours. I did cook at home, but I had a routine where I would spend Sundays planning, shopping and cooking my meals for the week. I usually tried to freeze half of what I made, so that I would always have a variety of meals to chose from. I was really organized (much more than I am now). I never had much food just hanging around in the house waiting to be prepared. I wanted to see what the chef could make with what I had in my cabinets and fridge: some frozen blueberries and broccoli, a little yogurt, dry beans, milk, coffee, Kosher salt and some spices.

These days I frequently feel like the chef in the challenge. I come home from work and try to figure out how to form a meal from the vegetables in our farm share, the meat in the fridge/freezer, and the staples in our cabinet. Sometimes these challenges produce some unusual results. One such meal was pork chop and mushroom salad. It might not be a combination I would plan ahead to make, but it was really good. I would consider making it again. The mushrooms had a rich, meaty flavor that helped the salad seem more substantial.

Pork Chop and Mushroom Salad

1 pork chop
1/2 lb of mushrooms, chopped (we used shitake mushrooms)
1 T butter
salad greens
olive oil
vinegar (we like raw apple cider vinegar)
salt and pepper

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, drizzle with oil and add the pork chop. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Let it rest for 5 minutes, and then slice. Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook until tender. Toss the salad greens with oil and vinegar and top with pork chop and mushrooms.

Is your kitchen well stocked? Do you have any unusual creations that were the results of thinking on your feet?

This post is part of Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, Top Ten Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Tuesday Twister.


Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

You just never know what will come from those moments, always something good, even if not made again. That is "home cooking" and there is a bit of a challenge to using what is in a CSA box or farm share package, looks like you did great. Thanks for sharing.

Miz Helen said...

I love this combination. I will have to try this for lunch one day.
Thank You...

Heather S-G said...

Nice job! I do this all the time when the cupboards start to feel bare. I know there's stuff there...just need to get creative! Love the mushrooms, they sound like the perfect addition...thanks for sharing it with the hearth and soul hop this week!

a moderate life said...

Hey Citay! I really love just opening the fridge and seeing what magic I can create! Your pork chop salad turned out awesome, so you pass the challenge! Very cool and thanks for sharing on the hearth and soul hop! Hugs! Alex@amoderatelife

Hunger and Thirst said...

I love the spirit of this post, great for the Hearth and Soul hop! I wish more people could master this skill, because I think it's the bedrock of kitchen economy. I know that when money gets tight, I can safely go without buying groceries, and still come up with a good meal, and sometimes just the challenge of it is fun.

annies home said...

I have created a chicken salad something like this before but love the porkchop idea. Those T.V. chefs have all the luck how many times have we needed to cook something quick and had a well stocked kitchen

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Thanks for sharing - looks great. I often make a salad using strips of pork belly with iceberg lettuce, roasted pears and crispy noodles. It was salad that came about just like this - wondering what to do with the contents of the fridge. Turned out great and has become a regular in our house.
Sue :-)

Christy said...

I often do this - sometimes it is good sometimes we order pizza later (lol) but it is always an adventure! I rarely make salads with meat and never have with cooked 'shrooms - but it sounds amazing and a great way to stretch the meat! Thanks for sharing with us at the hearth and soul hop!

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