In putting together any meal the sequence of steps in the cooking is very important if you want everything to be done at the same time, so I started with the rice following the porportions on the package, but I also added two chicken bouillon cubes and a tablespoon of butter. It took about 45 minutes, but came out with a good flavor from the bouillon.
Next I decided to work with the kale. I took about a third of a pound of kale, threw it in an ovensafe skillet, and seasoned well with salt and pepper. I sliced up 4 cloves of garlic and threw that in the skillet as well, then poured about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over all of that. While prepping that I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and once preheated I threw the skillet into the oven for about 20 minutes. Pulled out the skillet and then using tongs I took the kale from the skillet onto a cutting board. I did a rough chop to make the kale more manageable and threw it back into the skillet on the range and took the heat to medium-high.
|Wilted Kale & Garlic|
I used that heat to take out some of the water that the kale sweated off in the oven, and once satisfied that the water was mostly gone I pulled it from the heat and set it aside.
While the kale was in the oven I brought a different skillet to medium-high heat and cooked up the pork chops in the skillet. They took about 3 to 4 minutes per side, I took them off the skillet and put them on an ovensafe plate. After the kale was out of the oven, I took the heat down to 190 on the oven and put the cooked pork chops in the oven to keep them warm. This has been a favorite trick of mine to cook the meat and keep it ready to go while working on a sauce. In this case, I deglazed the pork chop skillet with a rose wine and then tossed in thinly sliced pieces of a jazz apple. I threw in a heaping tablespoon of sugar and some cinnamon and stirred it around, then let it reduce. After about 5 minutes I tasted it and it wasn't as sweet as I wanted it so I threw in two more tablespoons of sugar and some more cinnamon and let it reduce down till almost all the liquid was gone, then I pulled it off the heat. This is what the sauce looked like in the skillet once I pulled it from the heat.
|Cooked Apples reduced in wine|
Amazingly all these components came together at the same so I plated up everything. Here is the fully assembled plate.
|Pork chops w/ Apples, Wilted Kale, and Wild Rice|
In the end it was a great success. The apples were sweet and went really well with the pork chops. The kale was a great contrast to the apples with a strong garlic taste. The wild rice was good and served the purpose of having a starch on the plate. It was a fun dish to make and great to try out something without a menu and with ingredients I'd picked up just an hour before.