Sunday, September 09, 2007

In a Grocery Fix, Pork Chops Soothe the Pain

Fresh Figs from FairwayThese figs came from Fairway, and I had to fight off the fig fanatics of the Upper West Side for them.

Aargh, am I annoyed with grocery shopping in New York. The overpriced Gristede's on my corner makes me grumpy, while the Gourmet Garage doesn't have 1/2 of what I need. The Westside Market has dreamy cheese and charcuterie, but abominable veggies. I think the contents of Fairway's aisles might make me swoon if I could pause long enough to look without getting run over by an impatient 80 year old's shopping cart--today while waiting at the deli counter a gray-haired little lady called the man next to me a jackass because he didn't move out of her way fast enough.

The closest I've come to grocery shopping heaven is the greenmarket at 97th and Amsterdam on Fridays. Imagining a couple of stands a la LA's Silver Lake market, I was delighted to discover a block chock full of veggie and fruit stands, plus a free range pork and beef stand, a dairy dealer, and a turkey guy. I breathed a sigh of relief as I chatted with farmers and filled my bags with lovely local produce.

Saturday night J and I turned my market bounty into the first real dinner to come out of our New York kitchen--we even lit some candles and used cloth napkins! The pork recipe comes adapted from Epicurious, and you could easily use apples instead of the Asian pears. Also, I brined my chops for about 7 hours--about 1/4 c. salt, 1/4 c. sugar, 5 cups water and a handful of cloves and star anise. These chops were so delish, I forget all about the difficulty of city shopping.

Parmesan and Sage Crusted Pork Chops with Asian Pears and Onions

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 small Asian pears, seeded and quartered
2-3 small sweet onions, quartered
3/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 large egg
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 boneless pork chops (each about 1-2 inches thick)

Preheat the oven to 425.

Heat a large, ovenproof saute pan over medium heat. Add butter and olive oil, then the pears and the onions.

While the pears and the onions begin to cook, mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, sage, and lemon peel in a wide, shallow dish. In a separate wide, shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg. Pour the flour on a separate plate.

Salt and pepper your pork chops on both sides. Dredge in flour, then dip in the egg. Then dip the chops in the bread crumb mixture, pressing down on both sides to help the crumbs adhere.

When the pears and onions are lightly browned, move them to the side of the pan so there's enough room in the middle for the chops.

Add pork chops to pan and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Place the pan in the oven and bake until chops are crisp on the outside and lightly pink on the inside, about 20 minutes.


ann said...

Welcome to New York, now get out of the way. Just kidding! But yeah, grocery shopping in the city can be a pain in the arse. Just keep your cool, shop at "off" times if you can.

Oh, and feel free to run over little old ladies blocking your path. Remember, they're probably living in a palatial 6 room, rent controlled apartment for $100/ month, they can afford the doctor's bill (again, just kidding!)

Rachael said...

Wow, those New Yorkers sure are living up to their reputations!

Christina said...

Brining rocks!

Thanks for the great recipe! I'm so glad that you're happy in New York--as you've expressed before--but I hope shopping gets easier.

Kamarulzaman Suief said...
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Chubbypanda said...

Awww... From what I've heard, New York is a great city for eating out, but not so much for cooking in. I've even read about apartments that don't come with kitchens. (o.O)

KT said...

Yup. I decided when on my first visit to New York, all the way back in high school, that I couldn't move there for this very reason.

My whole trip I couldn't get the question out of my mind of how people did their grocery shopping. On each subsequent trip, I never found a good answer, so I'm staying planted on the west coast!

Erin S. said...

Ann--thanks for the tips! I need to become more ruthless :)

Rachael--yeah, overall people are sweet, but when it comes to groceries...

Christina--yeah, brining makes a huge difference--i love it.

chubbypanda--I don't know how people get by with no kitchen. I'd die. Mine is small, but big enough to work in.

KT--I'm trying to shop more frequently--visiting the store every night on the way home instead of trying to stock up for the week. This means more trips to the crazy stores, but I have to buy less at a time, so I'm a bit more chill.

Kate said...

Oooh that recipe sounds delicious, and so 'Fall'

Other than groceries, are you getting along well with your new city??

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