26 August 2010

I'm not posting a picture of the finished dish because well, it wasn't pretty. It tasted good, it just did not look appealing. I know how to make it look better, so I will do that the next time I make it and post a picture of it then.

This is a recipe from one of my cookbooks, Food & Wine Magazine's Quick From Scratch Italian Cookbook. I have several cookbooks on my shelf, but rarely do I make recipes from them. I have decided to include at least one new recipe from a cookbook each month when I do my meal planning. This is the one for August. I changed it just slightly, to fix the aforementioned ugly problem, and this is how I will make it next time.

Baked Pork Chops with Swiss Chard

1 lb. Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves washed and cut into 1” pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1½ tbsp grated parmesan
2 oz. fontina cheese, grated
4 pork chops

Preheat oven to 450°. In a large bowl, toss the Swiss chard with 1 tbsp of the oil, ¼ tsp of the salt and ¼ tsp of the pepper. Place chard in a 9x13” baking dish. Sprinkle the parmesan and fontina over the chard.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork chops with ¼ tsp salt and pepper. Brown pork chops on both sides. Place pork chops on top of chard in baking dish.

Bake until the pork chops are just done, about 10-15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

The reason it turned out so ugly is because the original recipe did not call for browning the pork chops before adding them to the baking dish. You were just supposed to put the raw pork chops right on the chard. I thought it was kind of weird, but I did it anyway. It came out tasting just fine, and they cooked through completely in the time indicated (18 mins.), but the pork chops were really pale and not appetizing to look at. I was afraid that if I posted the picture of them, no one would want to make it! Which would be a shame, because it really was a tasty dish.

I had never had Swiss chard before and this was an easy recipe to try it out with. I got the red chard; apparently you can buy green too. The chard does lose a lot of water during cooking, so if you buy the red, don't be alarmed by the pinkish liquid in the bottom of the baking dish. At first I thought it was blood from the pork chops, but soon realized that it was from the chard. I really liked it. I would say that if you like spinach, you will probably like Swiss chard. The chard cooks way down, like spinach does when you cook it. Here is a pic of it when I first put it in the baking dish:

Pretty! I was astonished when I pulled it out of the oven. I was like, "Where did it all go?" It cooks down until there's just enough to make a nice little bed for each pork chop to sit on.

I didn't have fontina on hand (forgot to put it on my list), so I just added a bit more of the parmesan than called for. Probably wasn't the best idea, as it turned out a bit on the salty side. Next time I will get the fontina and try it that way.

So check back to this post in a month or two and hopefully you will see a pretty picture of a pork chop sitting on some brightly colored Swiss chard!

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