Friday, December 29, 2006

Pork Provencal Style

Sooooooo, its Friday and its a fast-free week. For you non-Orthodox, the way it works is that prior to four major feasts, there is a period of preparation which includes fasting from all flesh-meats, dairy and eggs. Then you have the feast which is normally followed by a period of up to a week when even the usual Wednesday and Friday fasting days are suspended. Advent, the fasting period prior to Christmas, begins on November 15th and ends on December 25th, and there is a full week which fast-free following.
So like I said, its Friday and its a fast-free week. Dear Daughter's most favorite meat in the world is pork, so I planned pork chops. When I got home tonight and looked in the fridge to see what to cook with it, I had an 8 oz package of cherry tomatoes and an 8 oz package of sliced baby porcini mushrooms that needed to be used. This led to the following dish which I think I'll call Provencal Pork. I heard something muffled come from dd while her face was in her dish. I think it was "I really, really love you, Mommy!" High praise indeed! LOL!

Provencal Pork

4 thick boneless pork chops

1 onion, chopped coarsely

8 oz sliced mushrooms

8 oz cherry tomatoes

3 - 4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 C white wine

1/2 tsp or so of Adobo seasoning (this is very salty)

1/2 tsp or so of Herbes de Provence

garlic powder

olive oil for sauteeing

Using my favorite, well-seasoned and practically nonstick cast iron fry pan, heat about 1 Tbs olive oil till its very hot. Saute the onions and mushrooms together, stirring very often, until the mushrooms have given up their liquid and the onions are tender. Add in the tomatoes and saute about 5 minutes more until they split and pop. Sprinkle the Adobo seasoning, minced garlic and Herbes de Provence over, stir well, and splash in some white wine to deglaze the pan. Keep sauteeing until everything is cooked and the alcohol has burned off, but there is still some liquid in the bottom of the pan. Adjust salt and pepper. Remove to a serving dish and keep warm. Wipe the pan out with a paper towel.

In the same pan, drizzle a little olive oil to coat the bottom and let the pan heat to medium high. When the pan is hot, place the pork chops in and let cook about 5 minutes, or until the bottom is crusty and browned. Yum. Turn the chops over, lower the heat to medium, sprinkle with the salty Adobo seasoning, a couple of pinches of Herbes de Provence and a shake or two of garlic powder. Let the chops cook until they are done, probably about another 5 minutes or so. Be sure to test the chops for doneness.

Serve the chops with the tomatoes on top, a salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette and a loaf of crusty bread.

This was really, really, really good. Through a mouth of porky goodness, DD told me that she would be a vegetarian, but pork was holding her back. Me too. So, I guess we'll continue with our vegan lifestyle during fast periods (at least half the year), and we'll still eat meat a couple of times a week during non-fast periods. Does that make us half-vegans? Nah, it just makes us Orthodox!

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