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
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?