RECIPE. May 22, 2011

Butter Me Up Porkchop

So many of my friends are having babies. While I enjoy holding these bundles of love and life as much as anyone, I really love cooking for the mothers even more. A friend of mine recently inquired if I truly enjoyed this task of making meals for new moms and I emphatically nodded my head and smiled, really big. The truth is, I absolutely love it. The joy of cooking, in my opinion, is a three tiered process. First, I enjoy handling really good food. The kind you have grown yourself or you have purchased with pride from a local farmer or store. I love the slicing, dicing and mixing of this food, really connecting me with the power of life. Second, I love to eat good food. It not only fills my belly but nourishes my soul. Lastly, and most important, I love to feed others to fill their bellies and nourish their souls.

As a new mother, I can appreciate when someone takes the time and energy to create a meal and bring it for your consumption. In the first few weeks of my sons life I was so appreciative of those who gave their time to bring us meals so we could focus solely on loving and adoring our new son. So when I get the opportunity to spoil and dote on another new mom, I leap at the chance. I don’t just fix her a meal, I make her and her family a feast. I take requests and fulfill to best of my ability. This recipe went to one new mother and the next time I saw her she begged for the recipe. So here it is.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place walnuts on baking sheet and toast for 5-10 minutes or until golden and set aside. Heat oil in large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat. Rub pork chops with salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook until golden brown on one side, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer pork to plate.

Add 2 Tbsp broth, vinegar, brown sugar and 1/4 tsp pepper to pan and simmer 1 minute. Add shallots, squash, sage and greens to pan. Cook until greens are wilted, mixing occasionally.

Put frying pan in oven and bake, uncovered, until squash is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and fit pork, browned side up, between vegetables. Drizzle remaining broth over mixture and sprinkle walnuts on top.

Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until vegetables begin to turn golden and pork is cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on plates.