Pork Chops with Hot Honey Dressing and Fresh Greens
Easy weeknight cooking!
One of the things that Mrs. CWD and I do every Saturday morning is sit down and try to map out our meals for the week. In practicality, what that looks like is writing on a sheet of paper Monday through Sunday and filling in the rough outlines of a meal plan: “fish tacos,” “lamb + tomato/cucumber salad,” “take out.”
Often, we’ll end up with three or four solid meals and one “wildcard” for the week. Sometimes that means grabbing whatever looks good at the store, other raiding the freezer for some stocked up meat. Often, whichever route we take, that means pork chops — which we’ve made before.
We found ourselves in this situation recently, and because our first greens were ready to be harvested from our garden, instead of our typical ravioli, we switched it up for a wilted green salad using arugula and radish greens. Yes, this recipe is essentially just switching pork for chicken in the hot honey chicken featured in my sixth newsletter ever, but none of you were here to read and it and the beauty of cooking for yourself is you can do whatever you want. Enjoy!
Season your pork chops in a matter you see fit1 — let them bath in this dusting for at least 10 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 375(F)2. Once your meat is glistening, heat some butter in a cast iron pan and when sizzling, toss your chops in the pan. Let them sit, undisturbed, over the heat for a few minutes, until the meat is well-browned. Move the whole pan into the oven, and cook for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix some apple cider vinegar, honey, and chili flakes in a small bowl. You can play around with the ratio, but around 2:1 cider to honey feels right to me. Put this aside, and when the pork is done, move the chops to a plate or cutting board, leaving the rendered fat, butter, and juices in pan. Bring the pan to a simmer and then whisk in the cider-honey mixture. Stir occasionally until it is slightly reduced, just a few minutes.
On a clean plate, add a handful of greens3 and drizzle with the warm pan dressing. Toss a pork chop on top, and then add some more dressing if you’re feeling saucy (pun!). Eat quickly and save the bones.
There’s dinner! It should all come together easily in under 30 minutes, and can adapted with pretty much any “white,” moderately fatty meat and nearly any vegetable. Feel free to supplement with some bread, polenta, rice, or pasta as you see fit.
Enjoy the weekend, nerds!
Or 350(F) or 400(F). It’s fungible.
Spinach would work, spring mix, arugula, even romaine, or, as we did, radish greens and tsatsoi. Just use whatever you have on hand.