Last Monday I posted a recipe from my first batch of Farmer's Market goods. My husband and daughter have been going every weekend and picking up secret ingredients and let me work my magic in the kitchen using the fruits and vegetables they buy.
On their 2nd trip to the market, they bought me zucchini squash, pattypan squash, neon eggplant, garlic, pears, and celery. What on earth? I had some really thick pork chops in the fridge marinating in an asian marinade so I had to think of how I could use those ingredients with those chops.
A-ha! Inspiration struck and I came up with my plan of action. I decided to make a slaw using the celery and pears, and using the squashes and eggplant to make hot and sour veggies underneath.
2 celery ribs - removed of strings and thinly sliced
1/2 lime, squeezed
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp gingerroot, grated
2 pears, cut into 1/4" matchsticks
2 green onion, thinly sliced on the angle
a dash of crushed red pepper
Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl and let the flavors marry.
Grill your chops on a BBQ grill. I let my husband grill these babies up and they were absolute perfection. Remember you don't have to overcook these. Overcooked pork chops = dry dry dry.
For the hot and sour vegetables.
Peel and dice the eggplant and put in a strainer with salt. The salt will pull out the moisture in the eggplant. Leave it with the salt for 30 minutes. At that time, rinse well, and put on paper towels and wring dry.
Dice 1 zucchini
Cut up the pattypan squash into wedges
Quarter an onion and slice
mince 1 clove garlic
1 green chile, chopped (I used jalapeno)
In a bowl, mix together:
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp chili oil (I didn't use nearly this much because I have kids)
1 tsp salt
Put 2 Tbsp oil in a stir fry pan and heat over medium high heat. Saute the garlic and onion for 30 seconds, then add the remaining ingredients. Saute until the veggies are fork tender. When they're tender, add the bowl of liquid and stir. This will start thickening quickly. Coat all the veggies well with the sauce.
To plate, put a spoonful of veggies on your plate, top with your beautifully grilled pork chop and then using a slotted spoon, put a spoon of slaw on top.
You will find the acidic, bright flavor of the slaw a wonderful companion to the pork and the sweetness and slight spiciness of the veggies underneath is just perfect.
So the next time you're at the farmer's market, think about the vegetables you might necessarily know how to use. In my case, it was the pattypans and eggplant and I was able to find the perfect dish. I hope you enjoy this recipe!