end of summer dinner

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when i’m trying to decide what to cook or bake, i don’t usually start with a recipe, i start with an ingredient.

i mean, those peaches were macerating in bourbon in my head (while lurking despondently in my fridge) for WEEKS before i found the recipe (recipes!) to make it happen for reals.

case in point – if there are lima beans at the farmers market, there will be succotash.  you know how i feel about food with fun-sounding names!

however.

i have a three-foot stack of old bon apetits and gourmets (RIP gourmet, RIP) and cooking lights.  which i’m slowly going through, ripping out the dog-eared pages to fill what is likely to be a series of three ring binders.

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this binder lives on a shelf.  next to my growing collection of cookbooks.

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and i LOVE my cookbooks, and most were gifts.  my godmother sent me off into my first apartment with a set of classics. (barefoot contessa. silver palate. joy of cooking.)

my current cookbook-fairy is also my mother-in-law (ad hoc at home . . . i didn’t post-it every page, but mostly just beacuse i skipped the fish section).

my cookbooks are like my wedding gifts.  they aren’t just objects, they’re the presence of the love of my friends and family.  in my kitchen, where that kind of love always feels strongest.

and even though i’m far from having as many cookbooks one of my favorite food bloggers, i’m trying to follow her advice: stop buying, and start cooking!

so, let’s get on with business.

two recipes today: on-the-fly succotash, and david tanis’ pork scallopine.

poor lima beans are one of the somms favorites even though i think their reputation is on par with anchovies.

to be honest, i’m still working on the anchovies. (ok, well, i’ve purchased a can of anchovies and i’m just getting used to it’s presence in the kitchen.  maybe someday i’ll actually open it and consider cooking with the little fishies.)

but limas, limas are great.

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you don’t really need a recipe for this – melt some butter.  add your corn and limas.  season and saute.  add your tomatoes, if you’re using them.

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cook till tender!  squeeze in a little lemon juice to tart it up.  top with goat cheese and basil.  delish.  and you really don’t need any more of a recipe than that.

succotash is so simple, i paired it with pork from an actual recipe.  from an actual cookbook.  this one:

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this was a christmas gift from my mom that had a good run over the winter (braises!  blood orange granita!) and i’ve now made at least three recipes from the summer menus.  his recipes range from a whole suckling pig (seriously people?!?) to simple, good food.  green beans with red onions.  this pork with lemon and capers.

the recipe was supposed to be for scaloppine – which is a fancy italian way of saying thinly sliced meat often lightly dredged in flour, and if you were wondering, wondra flour is the best for that cause it’s super fine so you can actually lightly bread stuff before sauteeing it.  this is how the pros get that nice brown crust on meats.

i had pork chops.  so i just wondra-ed them up and got to work.

while the pork rests, you saute parsley, lemon zest, capers and garlic in olive oil and those wondra-fied porky leavings until it sizzles.

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spoon over the pork.  serve with lemon wedges, and a scoop of late summer succotash.

let’s go in for a close up.

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The irony of course, is that you don’t really need the recipe for the pork any more than you do for the succotash.  but it was a great idea, and for that i’d like to thank both david tanis and my mom.

My Version of David Tanis’ Pork Scaloppine

Adapted from Heart of the Artichoke and here 

  • Wondra flour
  • 4 pork chops
  • 2 Tbsp. roughly chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp. thinly sliced lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. capers , rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • Lemon slices

Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Sprinkly both sides of your chops with salt, pepper and a light dusting of Wondra.  Brown chops on both sides for a few minutes until 135 or 140 degrees in the center.  Or until desired level of done-ness.

Remove pork from skillet, add another splash of olive oil.  Add parsley, lemon zest, capers and garlic.  Saute until it sizzles.  Spoon over pork chops and serve with a wedge of lemon on the side.

 

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