Usually on weekend nights I’m cooking by the seat of my pants — using up whatever I can scrounge from the fridge and going fast. Truth be told, this is often my favorite way to cook because failures, missing ingredients and missteps turn into strange successes.
Case in point: last night’s pork chops with their blindingly white accompaniments, pictured at left.
My original intention was to serve these chops with mashed potatoes, a green salad and a quick sweet-and-sour onion sauce (caramelized sweet onions with a hit of vinegar).
But, well, as the chops were grilling, my A.D.D. got the better of me. I tried to whip four small (and not fully tender) Yukon Gold potatoes with more than a cup of milk and found myself staring down a splattered counter and a bowlful of lumpy soup. Could this glop be saved?
Yes! I whipped out my handy-dandy immersion blender and found myself with an incredibly silky, low-fat potato puree that seemed poised on the edge of liquid and solid. All it needed was a little salt and pepper.
Our lettuce had died a slow, neglected-in-the-vegetable-crisper and was not salvageable. But I did discover an Asian pear. I cut it up and tossed it with olive oil, cider vinegar and salt. With these two accompaniments, I didn’t need the onion sauce.
The whole plate was like pork chops and applesauce reimagined, with surprising but mild flavors and memorable textures.
Now I’m planning round two — with buttermilk in the potatoes and maybe a little sesame oil or citrus juice to dress the pear.