Pork chops have never been my forté. Strangely it's Ed, who barely cooks at all, who can fry up a mean chop. In the past I've let him do the honors whenever pork chop time rolls around. For this dinner, I was determined to have a go myself. Since it's potluck week, I looked through my cookbooks for all the I Heart Cooking Club authors and settled on ... yes, it's Nigel Slater again.
Slater's books are certainly spending a lot of time in our kitchen this season. Pork Chops, Mustard Sauce is the 13 February entry in The Kitchen Diaries (p51), a classic sort of way to embellish pork.
Start by putting a bit of butter and olive oil in a skillet and set it over a highish flame while you salt and pepper the chops and squash a couple of garlic cloves. When the fat starts to foam up, plop in the garlic and the chops. Brown the chops on the first side, then turn them over. Brown the second side, then turn the heat down to medium. Let the chops cook through (no pink should show when you peek with a knife), turning them once. Move the chops to plates or a serving dish and keep them warm. (I left my plates on the plate warmer and covered them loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil.)
Now comes the sauce that makes this dish especially nice. Pour off most of the fat, leaving the tasty bits in the pan. Turn the heat back up and deglaze the pan with a good slog of white wine, scraping up the browned bits to help it all dissolve. Add some cream and let it bubble a bit. Stir in big spoonfuls of Dijon mustard and a grainy mustard. Add some chopped cornichons. (I forgot this bit!) Taste for salt and grind in some black pepper. You might add a dribble of the cornichon juice if you think it's needed to sharpen the taste. Serve the shops topped with the sauce and a pile of smashed potatoes so none of the sauce goes to waste. Pork chop success—maybe I'm starting to get the hand of this pork chop thing!
I forgot to add the chopped cornichons, so I'll definitely plan this in again to give that a try. A bit of acid is often a nice touch to cut the fatty feel of creamy foods.
Last week I forgot to take a picture of my "Around the Globe" dish, but you can see other well-travelled posts at I Heart Cooking Clubs. Check out this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs to see what other folks have turned up for their potluck meals.