Home alone for supper. This means indulging in my vacuous american TV show habit, and having whatever I want for dinner. Usually that would be a big oozy pile of mac and cheese but as I'm trying to be better I wanted something equally as simple but delicious.
So I turned to my next true love, a pork chop. Now, some of you may have seen from my instagram that a new butcher has opened in Muswell Hill. Making it's way from over the heath The Hampstead Butcher and Providore is a very welcome addition. It's all Tilly, who is a born and breed Muswell Hill lady, and I have been able to talk about and I have it on firm authority from her the bacon is to die for.
Not only is the shop beautiful, it is rammed full of amazing goodies from wine and cheese to baked goods and fresh pasta, bbq packs with homemade marinades and, of course, pretty much any cut of meat from any animal you can think of. Safe to say I'm already on first name terms. If they don't have it, they will get it for you. What more could you want?
So, back to my dinner. I never want to spend time on elaborate meals when I'm alone, there is too much washing up and faffing. Plus I want to keep one eye on the telly whilst I cook. So here is the easiest a one pan wonder, minimum effort, maximum satisfaction.
Roasted Pork Chop with a Sweetcorn, Red Pepper, Pesto Salsa*.
You will need:
One beautiful pork chop
1 Red Pepper
6 Cherry tomatoes
1 Fresh Sweetcorn
Pesto (homemade or from that jar that's been lurking in the back of the fridge)
1 glass of white wine
*I dont know if technically this is a salsa, but thats what I've called it
Now this literally all happened to be hanging around in my fridge. A great way to use up tomatoes that are a bit past their best, or that bottle of wine thats been open just a touch too long (surprising that's in my fridge I know)
Turn on your oven to 200 degrees. Season your pork chop, a thing of beauty, all over and put a frying pan on the heat. This pan is going to go in the oven so use a metal handed one or perhaps a skillet.
Whilst your oven and pan are heating. Chop your pepper into slices, cut the corn off the cob and your tomatoes into quarters. If you are using big tomatoes then perhaps cut them into eight. Keep one eye on the Kardashians.
Now your pan should be really ready to go, sear that beautiful chop really well on both sides and down the rind. Scatter your veg around to make a pan full of sunshine.
Now throw the whole lot in the pan, in the hot oven for 10 minutes and go back to the sofa.
*Please only do this if you have a metal handle pan! Plastic and hot ovens don't mesh well*
It should come out all nicely roasted, a slight caramelisation on the corn, the peppers beginning to soften and the tomatoes making the base of a sauce.
Now remove your pork chop onto your plate you are going to eat off. Remember we are keeping washing up to a minimum. So far you should only have one dirty knife, chopping board, the frying pan and tongs, and to be honest you had time to wash up that knife and board whilst the chop was searing, didn't you? Yes, you did.
Turn off the oven, and turn the heat back on under the pan and pour in your wine. Now you don't have to go and get a whole bottle, unless you want to drink the rest (which is totally legit), just get one of those mini ones in the fridge section.
It should bubble up straight away! We need to get rid of that harsh alcohol favour so reduce it down to a nice sticky sauce. I moved my veg to one side and tilted the pan slightly just to leave my peppers with a bit of crunch.
After a couple of minutes it should be perfectly reduced so add a teaspoon or so of pesto. Turn off the heat and give it a good stir. Check the seasoning.
That's it! All done!!
Put your pork chop back in the pan briefly to line your plate with spinach, scoop out all that sticky wonderful salsa and place your pork chop, like a marvellous meaty crown on top.
Hey presto. Dinner is served. You didn't even miss anything because of the stupidly long adverts we have to suffer.
Look at that plate of colours!!
Here's a close up.
The best thing? When you have finished eating, all you have to did is wash up a frying pan and that just takes up another ad break. Genius.
This would also be easy enough to do for 2 people, and actually I guess if you go a big enough tray, and didn't mind some extra washing up, you could turn it into a tray bake for larger numbers. You can always put metal dishes on the hob to make the wine and pesto sauce.
If you have a butcher near you, go and make friends! Supermarkets are all well and convenient but nothing beats the taste of proper, well reared and looked after meat. Plus, you are supporting independent traders, what's better than that! Go on, treat yo'self.