Dinner and a movie – a date night classic. This past Sunday night consisted of a hearty homemade meal of pork chops with garlic and wine sauce, orange and honey glazed yams, chocolate cake, and a Harry Potter rental movie marathon with my hubby J. Since he works crazy hours, this was a rare weekend that allowed me to spend precious time with him. Even rarer than a weekly date night with J is having him present in the kitchen as my “culinary assistant.” I sure didn’t take that for granted!
J dutifully helped me clear the kitchen, chop up the vegetables, prepare the chocolate cake mix (a la Duncan Hines), and set the table for proper movie viewing. Meanwhile, I helped myself to a healthy glass of Menage a Trois red wine and easily whipped up our main dishes in about an hour’s time. We then toasted to a cozy relaxing night in, sans the crazy Valentine’s Day crowd and hyped overpriced prix-fixe menu.
It was pretty fantastic.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones!
Pork Chops with Garlic and Wine Sauce
Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman
4 thin pork chops
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
Salt And pepper
1-1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1 whole bay leaf
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
9 garlic cloves, sliced
Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat in a skillet. Salt and pepper the pork chops and sear them in the skillet for 2 minutes on each side. Set the pork chops aside on a separate plate.
Turn to medium-high heat and saute the garlic for 1 minute until brown. Pour in the red wine and stir in the bay leaf. Let the wine boil for several minutes until it reduces to a thick sauce. Stir in the beef broth and balsamic vinegar into the sauce. Place the pork chops in the sauce and let it cook for another couple of minutes. Remove the pork chops and allow the sauce mixture to further reduce for a few minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the pork chops and serve.
Adapted from: Fine Cooking
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 medium yams (sweet potatoes can also be substituted), peeled and cut into 1 inch wedges
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the better and mix in the honey, orange juice, and cayenne pepper. In a large bowl, pour the orange and honey mixture over the yams. Salt and pepper the yams and stir to coat the mixture evenly. Arrange the yams on a single layer on a baking dish or pan. Roast in the oven for 45 – 50 minutes, turning the yams over during the last 15 minutes. Serve as a side dish.