smoked pork, spring onions; potatoes, breadcrumbs; kale


For the last couple of months I’ve been moving around a single smoked pork chop in our freezer.  It was the survivor from what had originally been a package of two.  Neither of us can remember when we had 3 chops, that is, one guest for a dinner, but to make matters awkward, our favorite vender for these things always sold them only in pairs, so it seemed that I would eventually have to make a meal, for the two of us, of what would be less than 4 ounces of meat, once cut off the bone.

Last night it happened.  Surprisingly, even with the additional constraint of only a small number of potatoes and not much more than a handful of kale, to fill out two dinner plates, there was enough for a pretty satisfying meal (translation: we didn’t move on to a cheese course).

  • a small amount of rendered duck fat, from an earlier meal, which I keep in the freezer, heated inside an oval, low-sided enameled cast iron pan, one sliced spring onion from Eataly, white portions only, the green reserved for later, swirled around in it, one smoked loin pork chop from Millport Dairy added to the pan, covered with tin foil and kept above a very low flame (just enough to warm the chops through, as they were already fully-cooked), turning the meat once, then, near the end of the cooking time, the green parts of the onion which had been set aside earlier, now also sliced, added, the pork removed, plated, brushed with garlic oregano jelly from Berkshire Berries, then covered with both the white and green onion pieces
  • a small amount of green kale from Tamarack Hollow Farm, wilted in olive oil in which one clove of garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm, halved, had been cooked until it had begun to brown, and finished with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
  • small German Butterball potatoes from Tamarack Hollow Farm, unpeeled but scrubbed, boiled in heavily-salted water, drained, dried in the still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, halved, tossed with a little butter, and sprinkled with homemade breadcrumbs (lots of homemade breadcrumbs, because there were so few potatoes) which had already been browned in butter
  • the wine was a California (Russian River Valley) red, Scott Peterson Rox Pinot Noir 2014
  • the music was Unsuk Chin, 3 Concertos (piano, cello, sheng), performed by the Seoul Philharmonic conducted by Myung-Whun Chung