4 Delightful November Plums to Sweeten Your Dinner

What’s for dinner? How about something a little different? November plums sauteed with red wine vinegar and brown sugar? Yes!!! I discovered this recipe on delish.com and adapted it to 007’s grilled pork chops. He is the grill master at our house, so all I have to do for dinner is come up with a few sides. Bored with baked potatoes and salads, I decided to search for something different for these November days and discovered that indeed, plums are a favorite for cooking this month. One I’m sure you’ve heard of is plum pudding.

November Plums

For a simple dinner without much fuss, 007 grilled a couple of pork chops and I added a topping of sauteed plums with rice and arugula salad. Done! Easy peasy and delicious.

Plums for November

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 plums, thinly sliced

1/4 to 1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I use balsamic)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

fresh plums in November

Directions:

Wash plums. Remove pits from plums and thinly slice. Heat 1 T oil in medium skillet, then add plums and onions. Saute until begin to soften. Add red wine vinegar (I use balsamic) and brown sugar. Cook about 5 more minutes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve over grilled pork chops with rice and your favorite arugula salad.

plums and purple onions

Yum!!! During the winter months, I love to pull out my cast iron skillet. It’s a great alternative to grilling when the weather just doesn’t cooperate. Pork chops seared in cast iron have a crisp coating without frying.

What are you cooking this month?

TV Dinner for November Night

Pork Chops – Shepherd’s Style?

My featured recipe this week is Pork Chops – Shepherd’s Style? I have to get something off my chest before you venture further into this recipe. Shepherd’s Pie is and always has been made with lamb or mutton. A “cottage pie” is made from beef, so I had to do some research to determine why this recipe is called “Shepherd’s?” The only thing I can find is the fact that potatoes are involved, and it sounds better than Pig-Raisers Style.

And in case you are wondering, Shepherd’s Pie has been around since the Middle Ages and is named such due to it being eaten regularly by shepherds. Here in the states, any “pie” that has leftover meat, vegetables and potatoes is referred to as a shepherd’s pie. I’ve decided that the next time I prepare this with beef, I will correctly name it “Cowboy Pie,” because I just don’t get that “cottage” thing either.

Whatever you call it, Lidia’s recipe from Lidia’s Italy serves 6, but I’ve cut it down to two servings just for my fellow empty nesters.

Pork Chops – Shepherd’s Style

 

Pork Chop

Photo credit: Flickr (without added cheese).

 

Ingredients:

2 bone-in pork loin chops, about 1-inch thick, 6 to 8 ounces each

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, for dredging

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 2/3 cups)

1 plump garlic clove, sliced

2 ounces provolone, chunk, preferably imported from Italy

1/3 cup white wine

2 tablespoons pecorino, grated 

Instructions:

  1. Trim excess fat from the pork chops, leaving only a thin layer on the edges. Season both sides of the chops with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Spread the flour on a plate, and dredge the chops, lightly coating both sides with flour.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the olive oil in the skillet, and set it over medium heat. Shake excess flour from the chops, and lay them all in the skillet in one layer. Gently brown the pork on the first side, about 4 minutes; turn the chops over, and brown the second side, another 4 minutes. Remove the chops to a plate and keep warm.
  3. Scatter the onions and garlic in the skillet, stir them around the pan, season with the remaining salt, and cover. Cook the onions slowly, stirring occasionally, and scraping the pan bottom to mix the crusty browned bits with the onion juices.
  4. Meanwhile, if you’ll be finishing the dish right away, set a rack in the middle of the oven and heat it to 400 degrees. Slice the provolone in 2 thick slices about the size of the pork chops.
  5. After the onions have cooked for 15 minutes or so, and are quite tender and colored with the pan scrapings, uncover, and push them all to one side of the skillet. Lay the pork chops back in, one at a time, spooning a layer of soft onions on the top of each chop. When they’re all in the pan, lay the provolone slices over the onions.
  6. Raise the heat, and when the meat is sizzling again, pour the wine into the skillet (in the spaces between the chops, not over them). Swirl the pan so the wine flows all through it, and bring to a boil. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of pecorino on each chop, then carefully move the skillet from the stove to the oven.
  7. Bake the chops for 10 minutes or so, until the cheese toppings are bubbly and crusty. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, and let chops rest in it for a few minutes. To serve, lift out each chop with a spatula, keeping the cheese topping intact, set it on a dinner plate, and spoon some of the skillet juices and onions around it.See more at: http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/946#sthash.xiEQVynd.dpuf