The Dandiness of my New Group, Scrumptious Possibilities
With a recipe for dandelion greens.
I’m working on recipes for a new book, CANVAS & CUISINE. A hybrid of recipes and oil paintings celebrate the fresh fruits and vegetables of world farmers markets, with an eye for global cuisine and flavors that range from the very exotic to the simply delicious. My dear painter friend has created masterpieces that depict wandering tourists, as they breathe in outdoor markets. As the chef in this partnership, I take regional dishes and give them a “can-do” spirit.
One of the things that’s been on my fork and (I’m sure!) splashed across the canvas are dandelion greens. To paraphrase Dr. Suess, “you can’t paint them here nor there; you can paint them anywhere!” This time, the dandelion greens on my plate came from an American grocery store rather than a stroll through International markets. I did, however, rely on travels to the Deep South to create this dish. It’s a recipe for fried pork chops with a creamy mustard gravy and sautéed dandelion greens. I chose these greens, because they are traditionally Southern.
These greens need a bit of TLC because they are naturally bitter. Many recipes instruct the cook to find tender, young dandelion greens to reduce their bitterness, but in my experience no matter how young and how tender the greens are, they need to be boiled in a bath of salty water to make them palatable. Adding sautéed onion, shallot, leek or fennel will also add to the subtle sweetness of the dish.
Give this one a try when you’re in the mood for a dish that’s hearty, soulful and delicious all at the same time! And if you’re sitting down somewhere comfortable and need a cuppa while you read or write, I can whole-heartedly recommend dandelion tea, which tastes almost as rich and nutty as coffee. Did I neglect to mention that CANVAS & CUISINE is a coffee table book? There’s a lot to look forward to, my friends…
Fried Pork Chops w/Sautéed Greens
& Mustard Cream Gravy
45 Minute Cuisine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 whole leak, cut in half, thoroughly rinsed, thinly sliced, tough dark green leaves, discarded, about 1 cup
1 pound rainbow Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves rolled and thinly sliced, about 6 cups
¼ cup dry sherry
½ cup homemade chicken stock, or prepared low sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
For Pork Chops:
4 (4 to 6-ounce) 1-inch thick, bone-in pork chops
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups bread crumbs from about 6 slices day old bread
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, about ½ cup
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 ½ cups half and half
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced leek and cook until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the sherry and cook until the liquid disappears. Pour in the chicken broth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the greens are very soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Brush both sides of the pork chops with mustard and season with salt and pepper. Stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, thyme, garlic and onion powders in a shallow bowl. Melt ¼ cup olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge the pork chops in the crumb mixture pressing down to thoroughly coat both sides. Place the chops into the hot oil and fry until golden on one side, about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and fry on the second side until golden, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the pork chops to a platter, cover with aluminum foil and keep warm.
In the same skillet, over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with flour and whisk to create a roux. Cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the white wine. Stir in the mustard. Pour in half and half and stir until the gravy thickens. Stir in nutmeg. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Lay the pork chops over the greens and serve the gravy on the side.