We were supposed to be having shish kebabs tonight, but first Sam ate all the pineapple, then the green peppers from the Farmer’s Market went south. Such are the pitfalls associated with the last meal before grocery shopping day.
I evaluated what was still in the house: the pork chops, leftover prosciutto and whipping cream from last night’s dinner, and a bunch of fat, beautiful scallions from the Farmer’s Market that had miraculously lasted the week. I always have onions or shallots, olive oil, garlic, wine, Parmesan, chicken broth and arborio rice, even at the end of the week when we’ve eaten everything else. I had a delicious glass of Prosecco, relaxed, and decided to invent a dish using the pork chops and prosciutto, and to make a recipe for Green Onion Risotto that I knew I had stashed away in my file. It worked out well to start the chops at about the time I started adding the broth to the risotto, so that both took about 20 minutes and finished at the same time.
It was a great make-do dinner, served along with a big bowl of cut up canteloupe and watermelon I already had in the fridge. There is no photographic evidence, because it took me a while to find the risotto recipe, and by the time we got around to the actual eating part of the evening, we were starving. Had I suggested that anyone wait while I photographed dinner, I might have become the victim of an angry ( hungry, and small) mob.
Pork Chops with Prosciutto
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 tablespoons rosemary, fresh or dried
- 4 thin (3/4-inch) pork chops
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (although white wine would probably be fantastic, too)
- Salt and pepper
Wrap each chop with a slice of prosciutto; its okay if it doesn’t go all the way around.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in pan large enough to hold all 4 chops. Add garlic and shallots and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add pork chops, with the “seam side” of the prosciutto facing the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon rosemary and cook for 5 minutes. Turn over, sprinkle with remaining rosemary and cook 5 more minutes. Turn a third time, and add broth or wine to pan, and reduce to a simmer. Cook10 more minutes. (Chops should be cooked through after the 10 minutes of sauteeing; at this point you are braising them to make them more tender). If you want to have some sauce to put on the chops, remove them from pan and keep warm, increase heat to medium-high and cook for 4-5 minutes to reduce, scraping brown bits periodically from bottom of pan. Add a bit more broth or wine if needed.
Green Onion Risotto
(from the February 2006 issue of “Bon Appetit”)
- 4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 1 bunch green onions, white parts finely chopped, green parts thinly sliced
- 1 cup arborio or medium-grain rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese or whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel (the only ingredient I couldn’t even fake)
Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and keep warm
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped green onions and cook until soft, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Stir in rice. Add wine; cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add 4 cups of broth, 1 cup at a time, cooking until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, stirring frequently, until rice is tender but still firm, about 20 minutes. Stir in sliced green onions, Parmesan, mascarpone and orange peel. Add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls as needed if dry. Season with salt and pepper.