Monday, February 2, 2009

The Triple P - Paula's Pork and Potatoes

Do you ever look in your fridge and just, well, let out a ho-hum sigh? I do. Like a wind-up toy, I make the trek from the fridge to the cupboard, back to the fridge, back to the cupboard multiple times before finally acknowledging that I’m just not in the mood to whip up a masterpiece meal. It really has nothing to do with the contents of my larder; it’s usually fully stocked. I think it’s more along the lines of just being plain, old tuckered out.

As I wore out a track on the floorboards today going from fridge to cupboard and back again, I gave myself a pep talk. “Making something quick and easy could be good,” I silently murmured within my own thoughts. (Picture me tapping my finger on the side of my mouth.) “Hmm, that pork should be eaten today, and then there are potatoes just waiting to be eaten.” Ah, my inner psyche knows how to get attention. Potatoes usually make the picky eaters happy. Pork usually makes me happy. The other white meat is actually my preferred white meat.

So .... after much sighing and facial gesturing and finger-to-face tapping, I decided on a simple but flavorful BBQ pork and potato dish. This ended up being a saving-grace decision as my hubby and daughter made their own trek to the neighbors for some extended super bowl fun, thereby causing me to hold a completely cooked meal for over an hour. An hour, people! So much for just popping over for a to say hi. Be gone 45 minutes at the most. Yeah, right. They were gone almost 3 hours! That must have been one loooong helloooooo. (Actually, the neighbors are very, very nice. I was just tuckered out. And grumpy. I'm better now.)

Ahem. Anyway. This pork was very forgiving, and the sitting time actually made it more the texture of smoked pork or even a carnitas, if carnitas were served whole instead of shredded, that is. It’s hard to describe, it wasn’t dry but it wasn’t really juicy either. What is was, though, was tender and excellent. I mean really, really good. The picky eater charter club members liked it, especially my carnivore son who was displeased that I did not have enough for him to have seconds. He covertly faked like he was going to snatch his twin sister’s portion, which resulted in a loud protesting outburst by said sibling. I gave him some of mine, restored peace, and you’d have thought I just provided manna from Heaven judging by the way he ate it. The next time I make this, I’m not sure if I should serve it right away or hold it for an hour!! Here’s what I did.

6 boneless pork tenderloin chops (I prefer bone in, but hubby likes boneless)
Lawry’s Season Salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup – give or take – of your favorite thick BBQ sauce (mine is gluten free)
8 large red potatoes
½ cup butter – sliced into pats
½ cup heavy cream – generous ½ cup
Sea Salt
White pepper

Season the chops liberally with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. Rub the oil over the seasoned chops and set aside. Heat up your grill (I grill year round on our gas grill), and when it reaches about 400 degrees, place the chops on the super hot grill. Close the lid, lower the temp just a bit, and grill for 5 minutes. Flip the chops, close the lid, and grill the other side for another 5 minutes. Remove from the grill and place right into a baking dish. Pour BBQ sauce over the chops and place uncovered in a preheated 350 oven for 20 minutes.

While the chops bake, make your potatoes. Select 8 large red potatoes (not the baby variety). Wash, do NOT peel, and cube into large chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt if desired. I desired. Add potatoes to the boiling water. Here’s a tip for you. Are you tired of avoiding the scalding splashes when adding veggies to boiling water. Give this a try. Put the veggies, in this case potatoes, into your strainer.Simply lower the stainer into the water, and let the veggies slide out. Easy peasy. Then save the strainer to use when it comes time to, you know, strain the cooked veggies. Boil for about 12 minutes or until cooked. Turn off the burner.

Drain thorough and put back into the hot pot. Place back on burner; the residual heat from the coils/grate will help somehow with the starches. Immediately add the butter and the heavy cream. Stir to coat. Season with sea salt and white pepper. Mash. Leave alone. Over mashing makes them wall paper paste.

Now here is where I would plate and serve them right away.In our case, however, we waited an hour for hubbyman and football fan #3 to return home, with everything staying warm in the oven. They still turned out fabulous.See what I mean? Not dry, not juicy, but oh so tender and all gooooood. The sauce really thickened up during the waiting period. Mmmmmm ... yummilicious. Oh, one more thing. This was gluten free, all the way, baby!

So, I have two questions for you. Well, it’s more than two, but, you know, some of them go together.

1) Have you ever had to hold a meal? How’d it turn out? Good? Flop?
2) What do you like to cook when you are just uninspired?


Cathy said...

I hate those days when nothing sounds good. That's when I'm happy to have something tucked away in the freezer. Your meal sounds wonderful.

You're so clever Paula, in both your cooking and your writing.

Dawn said...

I do that a lot too when looking into an empty fridge--ohhh boy.
But hey, you had plenty of ingredients for this fabulous dinner.

Bellini Valli said...

How did my colander get to the Pacific Northwest. We have the same one Paula not that that outshines this delicious pork dish!!

Pam said...

You made a terrific meal, when you thought you had nothing to make. I would have been upset if I had to hold dinner for an hour too. Glad it still turned out tasty.

Grace said...

i do a lot of finger-to-face tapping--i hope there are no permanent side effects. :)
i think you fared very well here--it sounds like a great meal.

Cheryl said...

That looks dang good, I am impressed you grill. Ours is too big and complex I am afraid of it frankly! When I am uninspired I have cereal, LOL!

Marjie said...

I don't usually hold meals, because I'm usually sure I can put it out in, say, 22 minutes, and it takes an hour. And math is my strong suit, plus I'm pretty good at telling time. Ah, well. Usually I'm telling people to hold their tummies! When I don't know what to cook, I grab a roastable meat chunk from the freezer, heave it in the oven, and figure out the sides from there. My superbowl fans were right here - all 4 of them - eating chicken wings, sausage, calzone, breadsticks, deviled eggs, and more chips and dip than a horde of boys and men have a right to! At least they ate whenever I put the stuff in front of them, since they were not at the neighbor's house (although we were invited, with another 150 of their closest friends).

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine you having even a day of things to eat NOT sounding good. Sunds Great to me!

noble pig said...

When I'm uninspired...ummm Lean Cuisine works!

Love the P've inspired me!

Peter M said...

Love the glaze on the pork...fingah' lickin' good!

The Blonde Duck said...

This makes me wish Ben would eat pork!

Aggie said...

I always have to hold hubby is always home late. Drives me nuts!!

I want some of Paula's Pork and Potatoes bad...mmmmm, love that last picture with the fork. Give me that bite!! ;)

Maria said...

I always struggle with what to make. I am glad my husband helps me out in the deciding process:) And some nights we just eat cereal:)

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Ohh your pictures!! I'm hungry now!

Jan said...

I never have to hold meals. Usually, by the time dinner is ready hubby is champing at the bit. But then he's not an American football fan.

But I do hate it when I haven't christened (baptized) dinner and can't think what to make. Looks like your pork turned up
trumps. :-)

Mediterranean kiwi said...

pork chops are what i always cook when i am uninspired - great minds think alike!

Manggy said...

Oh mannnn.... It's near dinnertime and I really
need some of that. I wish I had pork just waiting for me in the fridge. And some of that delicious barbecue sauce. But then I'd have to wait a while. Could you just fedex it to me? Heh heh. :) I certainly wouldn't take so long at the neighbor's if I knew this was waiting!

Jan said...

A lovely meal you made there!