These 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.