Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chef Ree-shard...

Richie has long been interested in cooking (probably because he's a big fan of eating.) It is a luxury for me when he'll say at breakfast,"I'm going to make such-and-such for dinner tonight."

Years ago, I bought him his own apron, a very snappy affair in black with white pinstripes and the words "Z Squire" across the top of the bib. The "Squire" is a joke -- shortly after we bought this house (our first and quite probably our last) I found him standing out on the balcony, arms crossed in a lordly way, surveying our back yard (which is all of 25 ft. by 25 ft.) I said, "You look like the squire, studying his lands..." and he grinned back, "I am."

Here's what the Squire made for dinner last night:

(This serves four; cut measurements in half for two)
2 cups balsamic vinegar
3 T olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
4 thick, center-cut pork chops
1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
Pepper to taste
2 ripe, but firm Bosc pears, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T honey

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Boil the balsamic vinegar until it's syrupy and set it aside.
Brown the garlic in a pan you can put in the oven and add the pork chops, taking out the garlic and setting aside.

Tuck the onion wedges in with the pork after you've flipped them to cook the other side. Wait awhile and add the pear wedges. Stir the red wine vinegar and honey together; toss the garlic back in and roast it all for about 30 minutes. Go in and move things around a little at the 15 minute mark. Add the balsamic vinegar decoratively across each chop and serve.

He served this with white rice and Pierre Franey's HARICOTS VERTS ET OIGNONS VINAIGRETTE
1/2 lb. green beans
1 T finely-chopped parsley
2 teas. red wine vinegar
1 teas. Dijon mustard
3 T olive oil
Thin red onion rings to garnish

Cook the green beans, mix up the sauce and pour it over the beans, tossing to coat and garnish with the onion rings.

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