Food Bucket

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As noted in a few posts back, my mom recently broke her pelvis in a serious biking accident. Only the first full day out of the hospital, my dad had to go out of town, and I dutifully took charge of taking care of my mom. What better way to take care of someone than by cooking them a good meal!

I actually had a hard time deciding what to cook. I had free range and little direction, which provided me with just as little inspiration. After hurredly flipping through old Bon Appetites and Food and Wine magazines, I looked for help from my husband, who suggested some delicious pork I had made months before. Good plan. After deciding on the main part of the meal, I quickly settled on some sides, home made mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables with almonds.

Although I have made this pork recipe before, I forgot that it always takes more time to cook the pork than listed in the recipe. The breading on the first set of pork chops got a little burned in my efforts to cook the pork all the way through, but I wisened up the second time and lowered the temperature of my pan. I also had to take a bit of creative license with the vegetable recipe because the grocer didn’t have enough green beans. Instead I substituted brocolini, and I think the substitution deterred from any monotony in the dish. I also left out a few exotic ingredients that were unavailable for purchase, throwing in a bit of garlic and more onion for good measure. The mashed potatoes–another returning recipe–were the easiest part of the meal, and allowed me to take out any lingering frustration by slowly bursting each soft capsule under my masher.

Even with three of us feasting at dinner, there was lots of everything left over, and Jay gladly accepted everything that remained untouched. Seemed to me that the best way to transfer everything was in a big stock pot, i.e. a big bucket of food. Ergo the title of this post.

If you want to feed some very hungry people, try these parmesan-crusted pork chops with thick cuts of pork, roasted vegetables and homemade mashed potatoes.

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Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops
(original recipe here from Giada de Laurentis)

Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 center cut pork loin chops (she uses 1/2-3/4 inch thick, but mine were at least an inch)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate (or casserole dish as I used). Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side if using thin cuts, otherwise 8-12 minutes a side. (This time is where I had the most problems. No WAY were mine done only cooking 6 minutes a side. The first batch I finished off by baking in the oven, but the second batch cooked at least 8 minutes a side, but more like 10-12 minutes, on lower heat.)

Lemon-Roasted Vegetables with Almonds
(recipe adapted from original in the November 2007 magazine of Bon Appetit)
Ingredients:
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 pound brocolini
1 onion, peeled, cut into small wedges, 8-12
4-6 cloves garlic (agh, I don’t remember how much I used!)
Coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
1/2-1 cup (I just measured by handfulls) coursely chopped roasted almonds

Method:

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Spray 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. (I unded up only using one sheet.) Combine green beans, brocolini, garlic, and onion wedges in large bowl. Drizel with oil, then sprinkle with kosher salt (or sea salt) and pepper. Toss; divide between prepared sheets. (Again, I just dumped everything on one sheet).

Roast vegetables 15 minutes. Reverse sheets. (I just move my one sheet from the top of the oven to the bottom). Continue to roas until beans are tender and beginning to brown in spots, about 10 minutes longer.

Transfer vegetables to bowl. Add lemon juice, grated lemon peel, and half of chopped almosts. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining almonds.

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:
2 pounds small red potatoes (I leave them whole with the skins on)
1 stick butter
1 small container heavy cream
1 bunch scallions or green onions, chopped
Salt and pepper

Method:

Place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drain. Place the potatoes back in the pot and return to the heat. Stir the potatoes, constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes to dehydrate the potatoes. Remove the potatoes from the heat. Add the butter. Using a hand-held masher, mash the butter into the potatoes. Add enough cream until desired smoothness is achieved (I used almost the entire small container of cream). Add the chopped scallions. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

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2 Responses to “Food Bucket”


  1. 1 realworldmartha November 19, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Oh my goodness! That looks so yummy I can’t wait to try all of it!
    Debbie aka The Real World Martha (S)


  1. 1 Impromptu Shepard’s Pie « I’m Hungry Trackback on December 10, 2007 at 10:19 pm

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