lemon-braised pork chops; roasted futsu squash; collards

Using what has long been my standard recipe, I can arrange pork chops with fixings appropriate for any season of the year, from farms and waters in the New York City area. On Sunday it was time for an autumn take.

I’m reading an unintended smiley face on the squash.

Also unintended, I ended up looking at a colorful golden chain after squeezing every wedge of a terrific heirloom winter squash onto a single oven pan (necessity here the mother of an accident, not invention).

  • two 9-and-a-half-ounce blade pork chops from Flying Pigs Farm, rinsed, thoroughly dried, seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a part of one crushed dried red shishito pepper from Lani’s Farm before being seared quickly in a heavy enameled cast-iron pan, half of a large organic Whole Foods Market lemon squeezed over the top (the lemon then left in the pan between them, cut side down), the chops placed in a 400º oven for about 13 minutes altogether (flipped halfway through, the lemon squeezed over them once again and replaced on the bottom of the pan), removed from the oven and arranged on 2 plates, some of the juices that remained in the pan poured over them, the remainder transferred to a glass sauce boat and placed on the table

  • one 5 or 6-inch black futsu squash, of the moschata family, from Alewife Farm, scrubbed, halved, the seeds and pith removed, cut into just under one-inch wedges and mixed by hand inside a large bowl with a relatively small amount of olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and pieces of golden dried habanada pepper, arranged on a large, unglazed, well-seasoned ceramic pan and roasted in the 425º oven on one side for 15 minutes, turned onto the other side and allowed to roast for 10 more minutes, removed from the oven and transferred to a large heavy copper pot in which 3 crushed cloves of Keith’s Farm rocambole garlic and half a dozen large sage leaves, also from Keith’s Farm, had been gently heated  in a bit of olive oil

  • one bunch of medium size collard greens from Lani’s Farm, all the larger stems removed, washed 3 times, drained (some of the water retained and held aside to be added, as necessary, while the greens cooked), the larger leaves torn into smaller pieces, braised gently until softened/wilted inside a large, heavy enameled cast iron pot in which 2 cloves of Keiths Farm rocambole garlic had been heated until they had softened, seasoned with salt and black pepper, finished with a small drizzle of olive oil
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) white, Matt Iaconis Lodi Albariño 2017, from Naked Wines
  • the music was an album of Telemann Konzerte für Streicher (string concertos) performed by Musica Antiqua Köln