Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"To market, to market to buy a fat pig"--Nearly Impossible

Pork Piccata
This is an old stand-by because it is fast and delicious. But I have had problems with it in the last couple of years as the pork we get is leaner and leaner--perhaps good for our health--but definitely not as succulent and juicy. So I've tried to find less lean pork (I bought part of a piggy which had been raised organically by students at Sonoma Valley High School and it worked really well) and cook it as short a time as possible.

1½ pounds pork butt or boneless pork chops, sliced ¼ to ½-inch thin
Note: I look for pork that has some marbling of fat in the meat. Boneless pork chops work well if they have some fat in the meat. If it is too lean, the meat dries out in an instant.
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, slivered
Note: You can use more garlic if you are a true garlic-lover.
Zest of 1 lemon, zester or microplane but I prefer the zester
Juice of 1 lemon
¾ cup white wine
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

1. This dish cooks so fast, you really need to have all the ingredients prepped and set to go before you start cooking. So sliver the garlic, zest the lemon, juice it, measure the capers and the white wine, and chop the parsley. There, you’re set.
2. Mix the salt, pepper and the flour in a clean plastic sack. Dredge the pork a few slices at a time and lay in a single layer on a plate. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper.
3. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and fry until lightly brown. Remove it from the pan and set aside, leaving as much of the oil as possible.
4. In the same oil, lightly brown the pork slices on both sides in one or more batches, about 1 minute on each side or a little longer if the meat is thicker. Remove the pork from the pan as it finishes. The meat will continue to cook while it sits.
5. Add the lemon juice, white wine, capers, lemon zest and reserved garlic to the pan, set over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits in the pan. Reduce the sauce for just a moment, taste for seasonings and adjust as you see fit.
6. Return the meat to the pan for a minute, shaking the pan a bit so that the sauce is thickened by the flour on the meat. The meat should be slightly pink in the middle.
7. Place on warmed plates or a serving platter. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Adapted from Jeff Smith’s The Frugal Gourmet

Here is what a zester looks like:

You might to add the following dishes  to make a wonderful supper:

Oven-roasted Zucchini
From my May 31, 2009 blog

Coconut Rice from my July 27, 2009 blog. It looks just like any other rice dish so I haven't included a photo.

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