Sunday, April 6, 2008
Pan-Seared Pork Loin Chops with Fresh Sage Gravy, Braised Kale and Oatmeal Biscuits
Be forewarned...this is a looooong post. I think we'll be living on frozen leftovers from at least 5 meals next week to make room for frozen kitty food, so this one will have to last until next weekend.
Thought I'd go for a Sunday type dinner today...it being Sunday and all.
Inspiration stemmed (pardon the pun) from this lovely little sage plant that caught my eye at the grocery store the other day. It's beautiful purply-blue flower poking up among the rest of the green potted herbs set it apart.
Sage gravy and pork...sage gravy, pork loin chops, and biscuits?! Alright...gotta have some green in there somewhere, and I'm afraid the sage doesn't count for much in that department. The Monster suggested braised greens, so I picked out two sweet bundles of organic curly kale. One of our favorites. I'm typing this the morning of, so I'm not sure if I'll really be able to pull all of this off without the kitchen looking like an atom bomb went off in it (poor Monster, he always gets stuck with clean-up duty). I've never made biscuits before. Well not really...not successfully. I tried making sweet potato biscuits after having an out of body experience over Hoover's spb's (I have to add that I weighed at LEAST 20 lbs more when we lived around the corner from Hoover's!). Oh lordie. Well, needless to say. My lame little attempt didn't even come close to theirs.
This biscuit recipe was searched out so that I could attempt to use up some of the alternative flours I have piling up. It uses oat flour, so should be good for the ticker...well, maybe it will help counteract SOME of the negative effects from the vegetable shortening! :-) If these don't turn out, I'm on my knees for biscuit baking lessons Debbie!!!
(She made these for our Halloween party and if you closed your eyes, they were delicious! :-)
Braised Kale (or other green, such Swiss chard, collards, etc.): recipe
You can make these first and then just gently reheat before your meal.
Oat Flour Biscuits:
I'm halving the recipe that is written here, and if you choose to do the same just know that half of 1/3 cup is 2.5 TBS + 1/2 tsp. for the shortening amt.
The dough for these tasted so good! But...I didn't pull it off. Don't know if it was the recipe (I just got it from someone else's blog), or me, or both. They stayed the same size they were when they went into the oven. Needs work, but if you are an experienced biscuit baker maybe you can figure out what they'd need (and let me know). I should call these oat sandies...that's kind of what they were like.
From what I'm reading now, it looks like they just don't have enough gluten in them to rise...gonna need some wheat flour in there I suppose.
2 cups oat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar (I used sucanat...evaporated cane juice)
1/3 cup vegetable shortening (preferably the non-hydrogenated kind)
1/4 cup milk or soy milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, work the shortening through the dry mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Slowly stir in the milk until you have a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a disc, about a half-inch thick. Using a two-inch circle cutter, cut out biscuits and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gather up the leftover dough, working it as little as possible, and cut out as many more biscuits as you can. Bake about 15 minutes until golden. Serve warm. Makes 8-10 biscuits. I buttered the tops when they came out of the oven and just set them aside until the pork and gravy were done.
Seared Pork Loin Chops:
Center cut boneless natural pork loin chops, ~1" thick
Kosher or sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
flour for dusting (I used brown rice flour)
Light olive or canola oil
Take out of refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking them, dry them, and add salt and pepper to both sides. When they've sat for 30 minutes, pat the excess moisture from them and then dust in flour, shaking off excess. Pour oil in a heavy skillet heated over high heat. When oil is very hot, add pork and sear for about 4 1/2 minutes per side. I think we did about 5 1/2 on the first side and ~3, 3 1/2 on the second. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.
Make the gravy in the same skillet and when you've got about 2 minutes left on the gravy simmering, add the pork back into the skillet to rewarm.
Fresh Sage Gravy:
Makes 2 cups (I halved the recipe to just make just enough for 2)
I found this recipe on Whole Foods' website. It was the only one I found that didn't have a ton of fat and white flour in it. I changed it up a bit, and it's definitely a "keeper" recipe. I made the gravy in the same pot that I'd just seared the pork in, so as to incorporate all the crispy bits from the chops in the gravy.
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1/2 cup yellow onion, 1/4-inch dice
* 1 stalk celery, 1/4-inch dice (I didn't use any)
* 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
* 3 tablespoons unbleached white flour
* 2 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
* 2 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce (or you might use a little less than 2 Tbs if using regular so that it's not too salty. I only had regular tonight...)
* 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
Heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté onion, celery and garlic until onion is translucent. Reduce heat to low. Stir in flour to make a roux. Stirring often, cook the roux over very low heat for three minutes. Return to high heat, whisk in vegetable broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Add sage, simmer for 10 minutes. Check seasonings and adjust to taste.