Monday, March 16, 2015

Menu of the Week + Pork Chops with Kale, Polenta and Anchovy Gravy

This turned out to be a great meal plan, pulling from both my HWM archives and some recipes I’ve previously made with Plated.

The Pork Chops with Kale, creamy Polenta and Anchovy Gravy is a repeat dinner in our house. Jim loves pork chops but I’m kind of indifferent towards this cut of meat. I love polenta however, and by incorporating kale into the meal – this dish is a winner for all. Keep reading for the step by step instructions on how I did it.

First, let me review the rest of the weekly menu. On Monday we had our usual Salmon but I’ve been experimenting with different ways to make it. For this recipe, I prepared some Mediterranean ingredients inspired by a Giada recipe and placed them on top of the salmon and wrapped in foil. It turned out good and was really simple – perfect for a Monday night.

The Vietnamese Shaking Beef with Basmati Rice is a repeat in our house. This is the most flavorful beef dish and pretty quick to pull together as long as you prep the meat in the morning.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is another HWM throwback. This time I left off the truffle butter and added green peas! I referenced this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Skirt Steak with Cilantro Chimichurri and Carrot-Citrus Hash is one of my favorites. It’s kind of hard to explain why this taste so good. The ingredient list doesn’t look inspired but I can’t get enough of the spicy citrus carrots in this dish. 

Last but not least, the Meatball Tortellini Soup that I previously posted on HWM was good. I ate on it all week long for lunch.

Now for the recipe this week….

Pork Chops with Kale, Polenta and Anchovy Gravy

2 cups kale
2 cloves garlic, divided
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 lemon, divided
1/2 tablespoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon chicken base
1/2 cup polenta
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
2 pork chops

1. Prepare Ingredients: Rinse kale and tear leaves into bite-size pieces. Mince 1 garlic clove. Mince rosemary leaves, discarding stems. On a cutting board, sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over garlic and minced rosemary and, using a large knife, carefully scrape over at a 45 degree angle, pressing down. Repeat until garlic is broken down and paste forms.

2. Cook Kale: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, remaining clove of garlic, and crushed red pepper, in a large pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add kale and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Squeeze over juice of half lemon, reserving other half. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove kale from pan and set aside.

3. Make Sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together anchovy paste, garlic-rosemary paste, juice of reserved half lemon, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

4. Prepare Polenta: Follow directions on your package. This is what I did…In a medium pot, mix together chicken base (I use better than bouillon) with 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then slowly add polenta, whisking continuously. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring, until polenta is creamy, 12-15 minutes. Turn off heat and add butter and grated cheese. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Cover to keep warm.

5. Cook Pork: Rinse pork and pat dry with paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan from kale over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add pork and cook until golden outside and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

6. Plate Pork: Divide polenta evenly between 2 plates and layer over the kale. Place pork on top and spoon over sauce. Serve hot.

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