Monday, February 27, 2006

Dinner for a bad day

I'm in the middle of reading "The Man Who Ate Everything" by Jeffrey Steingarten. Although I love this book, I'm pretty well aware that it was published almost ten years ago and probably everybody else has already read it. I don't like to make a big entrance when I come to a party late; I'd rather sneak in. So I'm not really sure if I will review this book for you.

But I will tell you that between reading Steingarten and finding the most gorgeous fat bunches of rosemary on sale for 69 cents, I got a little inspired and cooked my way out of yesterday's fertility funk.

Rosemary Pork Chops

4 pork loin chops, about 3/4" thick
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp herb vinegar (I used this in the Mixed Herb variety; it was yummy! I could drink it!)
Leaves from a big stalk of rosemary, stripped from the stem and minced or crushed
Salt and pepper

Mix oil, vinegar, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub on chops. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Brown quickly on both sides in a hot skillet. Transfer to a 375-degree oven to finish for 20-25 minutes.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

This is celestial food, folks. Eat it with ketchup.

5-6 russet potatoes
1/4 c olive oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
salt and pepper

Wash and dice potatoes. Toss with remaining ingredients. Spread in single layer on a baking sheet; stoneware is good for this. Bake at 375 for at least an hour. (Yes, this means you should start this before the pork chops.) When you take it out the potatoes should be just beginning to brown on top and crispy and golden on the bottom. The garlic will be sweet, not pungent. You may need a thin metal spatula to serve them.

We had this little menu with steamed asparagus. I didn't even feel like dessert, and that's really saying something. Just more potatoes.

Ah, all better.


Allison said...

I haven't read it. I'd love a review.

The recipes look really good. I make a version of those potatoes, only using rosemary instead of garlic. I've also used lemon thyme. It's all good.

BTW, rosemary is incredibly easy to grow in a garden and it's evergreen, at least in warmish places (like CA, I'd imagine). It is easier when planted in the dirt than in the ground, though, b/c the soil doesn't dry out as quickly so it's more tolerant of neglect. We also grow basil, lemon thyme and oregano. The basil and thyme doesn't last all winter, but oregano and rosemary does.

Allison said...

p.s. I wish you the best on the fertility/adoption issues. I don't really know what to say that won't sound lame and useless, but I feel for you.

Ana said...

Yep, I was growing rosemary last year until I forgot to water it ALL SUMMER ... haha, I'm a dork. I made a really pretty dead herb garden.

We are tentatively planning a move around early to mid April and that's still plenty of time to plant. So that should be good.

And thanks.

Allison said...

I've killed so many plants in our garden it's not even funny. The only way our herbs stay alive all summer is that I put them in a flower bed, then set the automatic sprinklers to go off for a very short cycle in those beds every few days. Anything in a pot, or out of reach of the bed sprinklers, is totally doomed.

SalGal said...

Did you know there is a sequel for this book?