The Meal Planner


Thank you so much for voting for my hubby's song. It made me smile reading your comments, so thank you, thank you, thank you! If you didn't vote yet and have a second to click a button and cast him a quick vote go here. Their band is "Stars from Streetlights".


Okay, onto the food. Recently I was visiting my friend Bree and saw this cookbook Everyday Food: Great Food Fast on her cookbook shelf. As I began rifling through it, marveling at each recipes short list of ingredients and the beautiful pictures, she started to tell me how much she loved this cookbook and often she found herself cooking from it.


I've noticed lately in my own cooking that I am beginning to gravitate towards food that can be cooked quickly yet still deliver big flavor. Some of my older recipes from a year or two ago, while delicious can be quite ingredient heavy making them more daunting to cook when you want dinner on the table fast. I am finding that whenever I put a slightly more labor-intensive recipe on my meal plan it continually gets bumped from one week to the next as I groan with tiredness.

With Bree's recommendation and my need for fast, flavorful meals this cookbook has become my next to review. I was so excited to find that my library carried it and after reading it all in one sitting, have already written down over 20 recipes to try.


First on my list, were these Lemon-Parsley Pork Chops. I chose this one because I bought a massive package of pork chops on sale and have been slowly cooking different variations of them for the past couple weeks, our favorite being Maple Mustard Pork Chops but I wanted something with a completely different flavor. The thing that makes these chops special is the lemon-parsley mixture, exactly the same concoction as the gremolata that makes my Spanish Roast Chicken so incredibly delectable. Simple with a big bang of flavor. I can dig that.


Recipe from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
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Serves 4

1 lemon, zested
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
4 bone-in pork chops (about 8 ounces each)

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper and place in the hot pan. Brown the pork for 2-3 minutes on each side. Add a 1/2 cup of water to the skillet, cover and turn down to low to let the pork chops simmer until finished cooking, about 8-10 minutes.

While the pork is simmering, zest the lemon using a rasp or peel the zest with a vegetable peeler and finely mince (avoid the bitter white pith). Add to a small bowl along with the finely chopped parsley, minced garlic and a pinch of coarse salt and fresh ground pepper.

Serve the pork chops drizzled with a bit of pan juices and the lemon-parsley mixture sprinkled over top.


Click here for printable version of Lemon-Parsley Pork Chops
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THE RESULTS?
I loved how ridiculously simple this recipe is to make. Plain ol' pork chops sauteed with salt and pepper and topped with lemon, garlic and parsley. That's it. For such an easy preparation, the flavor is great and the gremolata gives it a fresh boldness. We did have a problem with the saltiness of the gremolata as written in the cookbook. It calls for 1/2 tsp of salt and when you are topping that over already seasoned pork chops, the saltiness factor was way overboard. You really only need a pinch so as you can see I amended it.

Since this book is all about preparing delicious food quickly, every recipe has a listed prep time and total time it should take to make each recipe. I decided to time myself making the recipes to see how accurate they were. This one says it should take 25 minutes total, and to my surprise and delight, even after making mashed potatoes and roasted fennel on the side, I still finished at exactly 25 minutes. All in all, this was fantastic.


Meal Ideas:

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2 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Yay! I am glad you decided to try this book and that your first impressions of it have been good :)
    B.


  2. Bree I'm seriously loving it so far. I've cooked 4 recipes, but the simplicity of it SOOO makes me want to cook more! I love that it's simple but not bland, you know?