Welcome to the new and improved Carano's Cucina. I make a lot of kick ass food and go out to some amazing restaurants. Take a look around and make yourself at home :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

All Garden (almost) Dinner!

I love to make things straight out of my garden. It's not only the sense of accomplishment at getting my hands dirty and growing actual food, but it also tastes damn good. So while I had some pork chops from the grocery store (raising pigs for slaughter in inner city Akron is probably not something I'm ready to take on), everything else made for this meal was from my garden or someone else's, starting with the marinade for the pork chops.

Thinking pesto sounded good, I made a quick marinade from about (and I'm sorry I'm always saying "about" but I'm not a measurer and I try really hard to approximate how much of each ingredient I'm using so that you can try it yourself) 1/4 cup of basil leaves and 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley leaves. Added to that is 2 cloves of my very own garlic all in a food processor. OK, fine.. the extra virgin olive oil isn't homemade, nor did I mine the salt or harvest the black pepper. Sue me and then add them to your food processor (1/3 cup oil, salt and pepper to taste). Give it a whirl until it's pesto-like (not completely smoothed into a green liquid but with some substance left). Then slather it all over your pork chops (or chicken breasts or whatever else you have because I'm here to tell ya, this would kick ass on anything!)

Set the chops in the fridge until you're ready to grill. In the meantime, let's work on the side dishes. First up, burgundy beans from my garden. They aren't really burgundy. They're actually more of a deep purple. We like them raw, but we like them steamed too. I do this by putting about 3/4 of an inch of water in pan, bringing it to a boil and then dropping the beans in.

As they cook, they turn green. I think I captured this phenomenon rather beautifully here:

Don't cook your beans too soon, you still have to grill your chops. There's also a salad to make. That consists of my gorgeous heirloom tomatoes (Mortgage Lifters today), cucumbers from a friends garden and basil from mine. I use either basil or mint (or both) in my tomato salads, but since I made the pesto pork chops I decided to stay with that flavor and just use basil. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and that's all you need. Some crusty bread for dipping is a plus.

And that my friends, is an almost all garden meal and it rocked!!!


momgie said...

Yummy - you inspired me to get in the kitchen and do the same with my garden goodies. My husband thanks you ;-)

Kathy said...

I'm so glad I could inspire! So what did you make and how'd it come out? ;)