Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Alice Waters: Pork Chops & Beet Salad

Stella liked her concord grape sherbet, though disapproved of the walnuts I added to Claudia Fleming's excellent recipe. 

Today, I'll be pithy.

I haven't yet fallen in love with Alice Waters' books, although her Quick Brined Pork Chops (Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook) were the finest pork chops I've ever made. You take those whopping big, 2-inch chops they sell at Whole Foods (and which I've always managed to ruin) and cover them in salt and ground allspice. Let sit overnight in the fridge. When you're ready to eat, you can grill or, as I did, pan fry the meat. It comes out juicy, perfectly salted and flavorful all the way to the bone. Miraculous.

"Dare I call these revelatory?" I asked my father. He is not the kind of person who would ever approve the use of the word "revelatory."

"Oh, probably better not," he said, with one of his funny little smiles.

I am going on a trip to Utah and Wyoming today. The car is packed and the children and I are heading to visit the Old Sod. I'm looking forward to eating a Maddox spoon roll and walking along the banks of the Bear River, my favorite place in the world.


  1. Let me note that I finished everything on my plate and it had nothing to do with how I was raised and everything to do with how delicious was the food.

  2. I bought a huge side of chops one time, throwing caution to the wind...and expecting to put them in the freezer seperated into 3-4 chops per bag. Thinking ahead to having chops for the summer seeing as how there were only two of us at the time. 34 chops should have lasted awhile. Then I saw a weird recipe somewhere ....
    salt chops with coarse salt
    use a cast iron pan
    don't flip chops until the salt melts into the meat ...dont even be tempted until completely melted
    flip, repeat with the salt.
    (there was narly, grungy porky things swimming around that I immediatly ehwwww ..threw into the slop bucket...
    then threw the chops in the pan into the oven to keep warm until everything else was ready.
    OMG (i really hate using that abreviation...but sometimes there is just nothing else that will do except om"friggin"g)
    Those chops lasted about two weeks. We had to have these every other day. And fought over who would get to eat the third one that was left over, cold the next day. ( I actually think it tastes the best about 12:30 midnight...when it's just calling your name to comeondown) I gotta say that I've never eaten a pork chop right to the bare "nothing but the bone" sucking bone. You have to eat these chops with your hands. Really...it's the only way even the first time around never mind the leftover chop.

    I've just recently discovered your blog....You are a talent---there's no other way to describe it. Unfortunatly I've had to go to the beginning and read ALL your posts. I hope by the time I get a little more current you'll have done us all a favour and posted that blackberry Polenta thing. Cause I will be kinda pissed off if it's not posted somewhere. I spent the better part of last night googling the crap out of google. No no avail. I mean how likely will I find that book at the library. I can't even remember what book it was in...that california one? Doubt anyone can find that one anywhere

  3. I agree with what Kathy said. New reader, reading from the beginning and deeply desirous of that polenta cobbler recipe. :-)