I was kinda bummed by this month’s Is My Blog Burning. I like vegetables well enough, but mostly as side dished to a big heaping plate of dead critter. Eat nothing but grains, veggies and fruits. Eschew all animal by-products? No Jell-o (and everyone knows there is always room for Jell-o). No bee spit. No cheddar. NO BACON! It t’aint natural I tell ya…nope..not one bit.
Personally, I could try to survive without eating any animal products for one day, but there would be a revolt among the plebes. The carefully hidden store of Spam would be raided; any critter that moved too slowly would be fair game for the starving hoards. “Dear, didn’t we have three goldfish a couple of hours ago?”
So to celebrate my commitment to eating animal protein, I went to Adam’s house and fried up some prime loin chops. I prefer a nice rib chop, as you can hold the rib like a handle and gnaw the meat off as our ancestors did. Plus the fat gets nice and brown, and I like the sounds the bone makes when I suck the last of the juices from it. (Eating meat is very tactile and satisfying. I can’t say I have ever had the same experience eating any type of vegetable matter. Well with the possible exception of one pear.)
My weapons in the war pork chops are Seasoned Salt and a cast iron skillet. The salt adds an unidentifiable something to the mix and the skillet let’s me get a good crust on the meat because of the way it holds heat. (I usually take my 12” skillet when traveling to Adam’s. Being single, his kitchen is lacking in hardcore cooking tools.)
I bought a whole pork loin and cut it into butterfly chops myself. It saves about $1.00/pound and allows me to control the thickness of chop. I hate having to buy prepackaged meats. I have gone out of my way to make friends with the local butcher who is glad to custom cut items for me upon request, but with something like boneless pork, there is no reason not to tackle it with a sharp knife and some basic knowledge.
I sprinkle the chops with Seasoned Salt, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper and let them sit while the skillet heats up. I usually have to add a couple tablespoons of oil to the pan, as the pork these days is too lean to provide its own lubrication. Once the pan is good and hot, in go my lil’ chops. (At this point, I get out the pepper spray to keep the men out of the kitchen until I am ready to serve. The smell of cooking meat drives them crazy and distracts them from their football.)
Once I get the first side browned (thank you Maillard reaction!), I flip them over and wait. I usually cook these over medium high heat. I will cut one and check for doneness after a few minutes. I am sorry I can’t give you times. I am old-fashioned in that I cook by looks and smells.
I served these fine looking pieces of porcine flesh with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes and sautéed green beans. Just a side note: the potatoes had a whole stick of butter and lots of whole milk in them. However, any vegan would have been able to eat the beans, which were sautéed in olive oil and garlic with salt and fresh ground pepper.
So there you have it - my anti-vegan meal! Bon appétit!