Pan Roasted Pork Chop, Braised Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Whipped Potatoes with Apple Jus

Pork Chop, Braised Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Whipped Potatoes with Apple JusI love pork chops. They are usually pretty cheap, they are easy to cook and they are delicious. Being from the south, I grew up with pork chops, collard greens and black eyed peas. The greens would be stewed all day and would smell like…well, like sulphur (I just edited what I really wanted to say). I would pour vinegar on the greens and hot sauce or ketchup on the black eyed peas (still do on New Years).

On a trip to Whole Foods they had some beautiful dandelion greens and the pork chops were on sale so I snagged them. Instead of the blacked peas I decided on whipped potatoes and I thought a nice sauce to pour over the whole mess would be on point. I came up with Pan Roasted Pork Chops, Braised Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Whipped Potatoes with an Apple Jus.

The pork chops are super easy with just salt and pepper. I personally would rather the pork be a little pink in the middle then dry. The dandelion greens are the most bitter green you can get (or at least the most bitter I’ve had). I tried to balance out the bitterness with all the other ingredients plus the braising process really cuts some of that bitterness. On the potatoes, when I got home from the store I realized I had no heavy cream which I would normally use with the whipped potatoes, so I used milk and ricotta cheese.

This meal turned out well. It was pretty easy, quick and very filling. The pork chop and dandelion greens were perfect and the potatoes were…OK. I think ricotta wouldn’t be my choice again but they were OK and I am glad I tried it.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Large bone in pork chops
  • 1 Large bunch of dandelion greens
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 Onion (I used white, but whatever you like)
  • 3 Garlic clove, 1 minced, 2 peeled
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of crushed red pepper flake
  • 1/2 Cup apple juice
  • 1/2 Cup chicken stock
  • 1-2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Large Russet Potatoes
  • 1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2-4 Tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
DIRECTIONS

  1. Set pork out and let it come to room temperature.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and drop in two whole peeled garlic cloves. Peel and cut potatoes into quarter inch cubes. Place in the water and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are fork tender and drain water. At this point you can either remove the garlic or leave it in, I like to leave it in. I have a ricer that I pass my potatoes through in order to get them smooth but you could use a food mill, immersion blender, food processor or a regular blender. I really like my ricer, it makes the potatoes very smooth. If you don’t have any of those items you could use a potato masher or a fork and whisk.
  3. Set heat to low and pour in milk, ricotta cheese and butter. Mix together, season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm. Before serving check to make sure the potatoes have not dried out. If need be, add more milk or stock.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a large pan with a tight fitting top over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and wait for it to ripple (I usually render out a couple strips of bacon and use that fat, but I was good here). Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add minced garlic and pepper flake and sauté for 30 seconds then add dandelion greens. Toss the greens until wilted and add 1/2 apple juice, 1/2 chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer until most of the liquid is gone, approximately 15-20 minutes. Add more liquid if need be. Turn greens occasionally. The last few minutes remove the top. Before serving, add a table spoon or two of apple cider vinegar.
  5. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Now you can if you prefer, you can cook at medium heat until it reaches appropriate doneness. I prefer to searer the meat on both sides and finish in the oven. For that my method, pre-heat oven to 400°. Heat a large pan to medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and searer both sides of the meat . Once the pork has a good searer place in the oven until it reaches doneness. The Food & Drug Administration recommends pork is done at 160°. I usually cook mine to 145° because I am a rebel.
  6. When the pork is done, remove from the pan and let rest. Put the hot pan back on the burner over medium-high heat. Add the remaining apple juice and apple cider vinegar and de-glaze the pan, scrapping all the little bits of tastiness from the bottom. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I put extra pepper. Right before serving dump any juices that may have collected from the resting meat into the sauce.
Pan Roasted Pork Chop, Braised Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Whipped Potatoes with Apple Jus

Skate Wing, Sautéed Dandelion Greens with White Bean and Fried Polenta Cakes

Skate Wing, Sautéed Dandelion Greens with White Bean and Fried Polenta CakesRight off the bat I’ll say, I have never cooked Skate Wing. I had it once at a restaurant in Charleston, SC. I saw it at Whole Foods and thought I’d try it. What even goes with Skate?

If you don’t already know skate is a type of stingray. The fish monger at Whole Foods told me that back in the day if restaurants ran out of scallops they would cut skate into scallop like shapes and the customers never knew. When I got this stuff home I had no clue what to do with it. It had little bone like things and cartilage like stuff, I didn’t know what to cut off and what to eat. Finally, I got it filleted to a cook-able piece of meat and decided to do Skate Wing, Sautéed Dandelion Greens with White Bean and Fried Polenta Cakes.

I got the dandelion greens just that day, I love the bitterness of these greens. The salty bacon, the chicken stock and the creamy white beans all balanced out that bitter taste perfectly. I had leftover polenta so why not cut it up and pan fry it. The polenta cakes provided a nice crunch. Now, how the heck do I prepare skate?

All in all I liked this meal but honestly the skate could have been any fish and probably will be next time. I liked the skate well enough but from now on I think I let the professionals handle it. The rest of the meal was awesome. If you tried cooking skate wing before I would love to know how it turned out.

INGREDIENTS

  • Skate Wings (stingray)
  • Dandelion Greens
  • 1 15 oz can of White Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1-2 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 slices of bacon (cut into lardons)
  • Chicken or Fish stock
  • Polenta
  • Milk or heavy cream
  • Blue Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • Flour
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Olive Oil
DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 275°. Cook the polenta per the instructions on the package except I substitute half the water with milk or heavy cream. Once the polenta is done mix in some blue cheese to taste then pour into a large flat dish (like 8×12 baking dish) and allow to cool. You can do this ahead of time and refrigerate.
  2. Start a large pan over medium heat. After the polenta has cooled and hardened, using a large circular pastry cutter, cut the polenta into whatever shapes you like. Season the flour with salt and pepper and dust the polenta shapes. Make an egg wash with your egg and dip each cake into the egg wash then the panko bread crumbs.
  3. Once the polenta cakes are all breaded, melt a tablespoon of butter and three or four tablespoon of olive oil in the hot pan. Fry both sides of each cake until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and keep warm in the oven.
  4. In order not to waste another pan, I wiped out the same pan I used for the polenta cakes. Since the pan is already over meduim heat add the bacon lardons and cook until crispy and all the fat is rendered out, remove with slotted spoon. In the remaining bacon fat goodness, toss in the minced garlic and immediately the dandelion greens. Toss the greens in the bacon fat and garlic. Let sauté until the greens begin to wilt and add your chicken or fish stock. Cover and cook over medium heat. I didn’t put a measurment on the stock because, well, I don’t measure anything. Just add enough to steam the greens and make a little sauce.
  5. Once the greens are wilted and tender and the white beans and toss together and cook the beans through. Toss in the bacon and keep warm.
  6. Meanwhile, heat large pan over medium to medium high heat. Dust the skate with the seasoned flour left over from the polenta cakes. Add enough olive oil to cook the skate. I just treated the skate like another piece of fish. I cooked it on each side until it was crispy on the outside and I could feel that it was cooked through.
Skate Wing, Sautéed Dandelion Greens with White Bean and Fried Polenta Cakes