After the blondies, another dish out from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course. Insort, three main ingredients to a delicious dish super easy to put together… All of a sudden, all these recipes with loads of cream, chorizo, stock seem a bit too baroque and convoluted. Tweaking a bit the methods you can also end up with a quasi-healthy dish. Meaning, using olive oil sparingly, skipping the butter and take out the fat from the chops. Well, sort of – or at least, this is want I want to believe because this combination is really outstanding.
Pork chops with red peppers (adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course)
- 2 pork chops, about 200g each
- olive oil, for frying
- 2 garlic cloves, skin on, crushed
- small bunch of thyme
Sweet and Sour Peppers
- Olive oil, for frying
- 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
First, prepare the peppers. Take a large frying pan and put enough olive oil to cover its bottom. Heat until piping hot and then add the onion and peppers. Season with salt and pepper, add the sugar and sauté over a high heat until soft and coloured.
Add the vinegar and let it bubble for a minute or two until it has reduced and the peppers are soft. Turn down the heat, add the tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Take the peppers out of the pan and set aside to infuse.
Wipe the pan clean, ready to cook the pork.
Using a sharp knife, make cuts into the fat of the chops, about 5mm deep and at 3–4cm intervals, making sure you don’t cut into the meat. (This will stop the meat from curling up during cooking and will make it cook more evenly.) Season the chops on both sides,
Place the cleaned-out frying pan over high heat and put enough oil to cover the bottom. Let it heat until piping hot and add the chops, garlic and thyme and fry for 2–3 minutes until coloured. Turn and fry for a further 2–3 minutes on the other side.
Towards the end of cooking time, add 3 knobs of butter. Let it cook for a while, pressing the fat again the sides of the pan to render the fat. Squeeze the garlic out of its skin and place with the herbs on top of the chops.
Transfer the chops to a plate, and rest for 5–10 minutes, spooning over the basting butter now and again. Serve the chops on top of the peppers with the resting juices.
To keep up with the asparagus season, an impromptu picnic by the lake presented itself as an ideal excuse to make this salad… An almost empty cupboard forced me to do a few wild tweaks to the original recipe, though. The feta cheese was replaced by soft goat cheese. Less salty, indeed, but it made the salad creamier with occasional bursts of flavour. The quinoa was first replaced by barley (really bad idea) and then by wheat (much more successful). All, in all, it was a perfect dish for the a perfect summer day by the lake…
Grilled asparagus, red pepper, creamy got cheese and wheat salad (adapted from the The 10 best asparagus recipes’ column on The Guardian)
- 250g wheat (Triticum turgidum)
- 900g green asparagus
- 2 tbsp olive oil, for drizzling
- 200g roasted, marinated red bell peppers, drained and cut in to bite-size pieces
- 200g soft goat cheese
- 100g fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley (reserve some leaves for garnishing)
For the dressing
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tsp roast cumin seeds, crushed with a mortar
Rinse the wheat and prepare it according to the instructions in the packet.
To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce and lemon juice. Gently crush the cumin seeds with a pestle and add to the dressing.
Rinse and pat the asparagus dry and place on a plate. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus and roll them until well coated. Season with salt. Arrange the asparagus in a hot griddle pan and cook, turning as needed, until nicely marked on all sides without being burned (it takes about 8 minutes).
Meanwhile, combine the quinoa, dressing, roasted peppers, cheese and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Add the grilled asparagus and gently combine. Serve at room temperature.