So, you'd think that I'd post about any of the above topics except that I don't have proper photos of any of those things and, without photos, I feel like their stories would fall flat. Mostly because I guess I need photographs to distract you from my poor storytelling abilities.
*Sigh* These are my short-comings as I've come to accept them.
So - in lieu of being able to show you the photo of my knives all snuggled up in the new drawer organizer or my camera producing something incredible (wow - the bells, the whistles, the WTF does *this* button do of it all) or my house without a front, I'll talk about pork.
Because obviously that's what a Jew would talk about in lieu of all standard subjects, right? Yeah, it makes no sense. Welcome.
In order to bring some semblance of reality to the purpose behind talking about pork, I'll preface this post (can it be a preface if it comes in the middle of a post? I don't know.) by saying that the pork isn't really the significant part of the story. No. The significant parts of the story are the rekindling of love with my favorite Brussels sprouts recipe (which incidentally includes bacon - appropriate) and the fact that EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I make this pork chop recipe, I burn the fuck out of myself because I'm retarded.
Let's start the FACE part of this story, then, since the PRE part has been so frankly put.
Once upon a time I didn't make pork chops until I'd skated by all my life into my 30s. Which, for the record, was just two years ago.
Not that I didn't like pork or pork chops or pork loin or bacon (obv.), but because my mom never made it and so, therefore, I hadn't the foggiest idea where to begin and, hey, we've got all this other shit to eat, so why bother with The Mystery Other White Meat That Sometimes Comes With Barftastic Cream of Mushroom Sauce Barf?
But, Bubba? Oh, he likes pork chops. Yes indeedy. (Sorry, I really felt like I had to say "indeedy" right there, even though I'm totally ashamed of myself.)
So, being the husband-pleasey wife that I am, I set out to make pork chops. Actually, no, I set out to make The Best Pork Chops because I'm competitive and egotastic like that. I MUST ALWAYS BE THE BEST IN BUBBA'S MIND. ALWAYS.
I'm a psycho.
Anyway, I came across a recipe in Real Simple that seemed promising and would lend itself well to a pan sauce I was certain I could master with little effort on my part. I was pretty cocky about the whole thing, really, especially given the fact that I'd never laid a pork chop in a pan in my whole life and what the hell does a Jewess know about cooking pork chops but I set out sure I was going to make them The Best regardless.
Sometimes I can really be delusional.
So, I procured my necessaries, which was really only two bone in pork chops and some olive oil and set out to make these magical The Best Pork Chops like I'd been doing it all my life which I plainly had not.
And while I was all flush with I'm The Bestness I hoarded up our farmshare Brussels sprouts for two weeks so that I'd have enough to produce the Brussels sprouts feast that we've come to love thanks to Dig and her fantastic recipe which also includes bacon (bless you, Dig).
Really, in my head, we were preparing ourself for a The Best meal like none other.
And then I burnt THE CRAP out of my left hand doing the stupidest kitchen maneuver short of jamming my hand down the active disposer.
See, this recipe calls for browning the chops in a pan on the stovetop and then sliding them into the oven to finish cooking. Fine. This is all fine.
But because I was getting all fancy and shit, I had it in my head that, yes, I will brown them on the stove, finish them in the oven and then remove the chops to individual plates while I deglaze the pan with some white wine and VOILA create a very tasty pan sauce for the chops.
Except that my brain does not comprehend the fact that once a pan has been in the oven at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes, that the handle will remain at or close to 400 degrees for, oh, I don't know, about 10 minutes or more after it's been removed to the stovetop.
Like, YES IDIOT, the pan's not technically IN the oven anymore, but the handle's probably still pretty fucking hot.
Which it was. Which is how I burned the crap out of my left hand when I went to reposition it on the stove to pour in the white wine from the awaiting bottle (but not my Drinking Glass because obviously I need all that wine for myself).
And, you know, on its own, that's not much of a story. Because who hasn't burned their hand on a hot pan handle at some point, right?
Except who, may I ask, has gone about making the same exact meal multiple times and burned the crap out of their same hand EVERY SINGLE TIME by doing the EXACT SAME STUPID THING because they just don't learn?
Well, I'll save you the suspense, it's me.
So, what I'm trying to say is that I've gotten really good at making these awesome Brussels sprouts and a white wine pan sauce while holding a bag of frozen peas in my left hand.
Also, I have a nice pan handle tatoo on my left hand into which my large sauce pan fits swiftly.
Yay for that.
Thankfully, after I did this last time and then saw my neighbors while still clutching the frozen peas, these same neighbors had pity on me, thought they'd save me from myself and came over for dinner the next night with a lovely and useful silicone pan handle cover so that I'd not burn my left hand down to a stump in the name of pork chops.
Merciful, these folks. I love them lots.
Anyway, as a thank you for sitting through this painful and rigorously mind-numbing post, I will offer up this menu as a token of gratitude.
Though I will warn you that you may want to keep that bottle of wine in the fridge until such time as you actually need it rather than doing a "one for the pork chops, one for me" dance with your wine glass because it can result in, ahem, impaired reasoning skills that may then result in burning the fuck out of your hand.
Pork Chops with White Wine Pan Sauce and The Best Brussels Sprouts
Pork Chops by Real Simple
Brussels Sprouts by Dig
Pan Sauce and all associated foul language by moi
Firstly, this is more an order of processes to a final meal than a recipe. So don't get all, what kind of recipe is this, loser? because I'll have to smack ya.
OK, firstly again, gather your Brussels sprouts up and trim and halve them so that what you have is a pile of perfect looking bright green gems with some loose leaves and IMPORTANT no little bugs hiding in their leaves. Yay. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil, lay out a few strips of bacon, per Nici's recipe, and slide them in the oven until they're roasty and not burnt, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan to a cooling location. Leave the oven on 400 degrees.
Warm up your ovensave pan and add the oil, thus beginning the pre-oven portion of Real Simple's pork chop recipe.
Set out some plates for later because this menu moves pretty fast. Just make sure they're out of the way enough so that you can still function.
Add your pork chops to the pan and follow the recipe, turning when they've browned - about 2-3 mins per side.
Slide the pan into the oven. Turn the oven light on to remind you that HEY IDIOT THERE'S SOMETHING IN HERE.
Grab a good sized mixing bowl and pour in the ingredients for the Brussels sprouts' dressing except the bacon. Whisk it up, crumble the bacon, stir that all in and set it aside.
Take out a small sauce pot and add about 1/4 cup of water. Throw your Brussels sprouts in there with a pat of butter.
OH YES BUTTER.
Put the lid on the pot and position that baby over one of your smaller burners and bring it to a quick boil over medium heat. Turn the burner off and let it steam briefly - only until the sprouts are bright green. Strain them and dump them in the mixing bowl of dressing. Toss. Set aside.
Return to the oven (about 8 minutes have passed) and remove the pan from the oven WITH AN OVEN MITT.
Place the pan over one of your larger burners (turned off) and plate the two pork chops, leaving just the pan goodness in the pan.
CRUCIAL DETAIL: Slip the handly silicone handle sleeve onto your pan, grab the half-drunk bottle of white wine from the fridge and turn the heat up to med/high on the stove under your pan. Wait a minute and then splash in enough wine to despackle the pan of all of its porky loveliness. Allow it to boil and reduce into a lovely syrupy sauce. Pour it in equal amounts over the two pork chops.
NOTICE HOW YOU DON'T BURN YOUR HANDS. Rejoice appropriately.
Spoon the sprouts onto the plates. Refill your wine glass. Serve your dinner and enjoy savoring it without having your left fist wrapped around a bag of Trader Joe's frozen peas.