After talking about it for years, Shawn and I finally signed up for a farmshare/CSA type thing-y. Yup – in November. Not exactly prime harvest time here in upstate New York, but I’m determined to make it work. I figure as packed as my cabinets are, as long as I have a steady stream of fresh produce I won’t have any excuse not to cook a decent dinner.
Then, my first delivery came. And let’s just say it wasn’t exactly the easy-to-throw-together staples that I was expecting. Daikon? Turnips? Mustard Greens?! I started by focusing on the familiar: apples, apple cider, garlic… those ingredients seemed to be calling for pork chops.
I started by brining my chops in apple cider. This is one of my absolute favorite ways to cook pork – it the brine infuses them with a subtle apple flavor and makes them incredibly moist and tender. I pretty much refuse to eat pork chops that haven’t been brined. Then I cooked them in a cast iron skillet and finished them off with a cider and cream sauce inspired by one I had at a Dairy Council event last weekend.
On the side, I served stuffing* with onion, celery, and diced apple and I sautéed the mustard greens in a little olive oil and loads of garlic. The the pork and the stuffing were earth and sweet, the bright, bitter greens served as a palate cleaner and really tied the dish together. Without them, the flavors might have been too muddled. Mustard greens aren’t exactly the easier thing to find at the grocery store, but Swiss chard or even spinach would make a great substitute.
(No, it wasn’t stuffed into anything. And no, I won’t call it dressing. Stuffing 4 Life!)