Monday, February 5, 2007

It Might Be Cold There, But It Was Hot On My Plate!

Since I had a meeting after work tonight, I didn't get home until almost 7:00, just barely avoiding the 12-hour rule. Fortunately though, I was able to put dinner on the table in just 45 minutes--not bad for a supposedly 30-minute meal. As soon as I walked in the door, I cranked up the oven to 475 and started chopping the ends off of fresh green beans to make one of our favorite sides. Technically, they are "roasted" green beans, but we call them green bean French fries. Simply tossed with olive oil and roasted at high heat until they begin to crisp and caramelze, these are addictive just sprinkled with salt. They are best right off the pan, but you have to be careful not to burn your fingers.
I also put the big skillet on the stove and let it begin to heat, and within minutes, I had the pork chops (Rachael Ray's Pork Loin Chops with Sweet and Hot Peppers) seasoned and browning. While those were developing a nice, brown crust, I sliced yellow and orange peppers, and a new-to-us ingredint, jarred hot cherry peppers, which were all tossed into the pan, along with a generous splash of white wine, once the pork chops were done. Meanwhile, I started browning some garlic slices and, subsequently, wilting down some spinach.
The end result? An antioxidant-rich meal: garlic, leafy greens, peppers...pretty much everything a body needs. Just a warning: Those hot peppers are hot. I'm used to quite a bit of heat, but I have to admit to a little bit of watering eyes.
Fortunately, it's getting to be grilling season--84 degrees today (contrasted with barely 50 just five days ago). That simplifies things a lot, and I'm looking forward to concentrating on rubs and side dishes. Tomorrow, though, there's a dish coming up that was planned in the depth of the cold snap. See you then!

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