In The Kitchen: Pork Chops and Vegetables in time for Valentine's Day
By Dathan Kazsuk and Jennifer Primrose
The two of us decided to spend some time in the kitchen this past Sunday to put together an early Valentine's Day dinner we thought we'd share with you. This was a nice meal, and relatively easy to make. Pair it with a nice red wine that's sitting in your wine cellar, a nice bouquet of flowers, and you can have yourself a romantic dinner with your significant other.
I made my way to the local butcher's market and picked up some tomahawk pork chops at $6.99 per pound. At home I put the chops out and got them up to room temperature while coating the meat with Herbs de Provence from our favorite spice shop in town, Savory Spice Shop located inside Lafayette Village.
We thought an assortment of roasted vegetables would be a nice accompaniment to the pork, so put together an assortment which included some red potatoes, baby carrots, red onions, parsnips and a couple rosemary sprigs.
For dessert, Jen made some homemade brownies and substituted the water for some wine. But not just any ordinary red wine. She used a dessert wine from Laurel Gray Vineyards out of Hamptonville, North Carolina. The wine, called Encore, is infused with black raspberries with just a hint of pure milk chocolate. It really added a nice flavor and moistness to the brownies.
We then paired the pork and vegetables with a bottle of Foundation from Vineyard 36 out of Napa Valley. Foundation is 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, and is a big, deep wine – perfect for a romantic dinner at home. If you look at the label of Foundation, it sort of resembles at hockey rink, but that should come to no surprise, because two of the members of this winery are Carolina Hurricane's goalie Cam Ward and former Hurricane blueliner, Tim Gleason.
Now, as far as preparing the meal. We pre-heated the oven 350 degrees and placed the pork in a platter and placed it in the oven for 40 minutes. With the vegetables, we mixed in a half cup of olive oil along with some salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence, placed aluminum foil over a 8"x8" casserole dish and baked it alongside the pork for 40 minutes as well.
With a robust wine such as the Foundation, we opened the bottle over an hour before serving so it was able to breath – and then enjoyed the wine in two Riedel glasses. The mixed assortment of flowers was a nice touch, as well as our two girls, Sleestak and Waffles jumping up on the table to try to help themselves to our food.
Afterwards, we ate a couple brownies while sipping on the rest of the Encore wine. We did notice the "fruit" flavor of the wine had mellowed, making the wine taste more like a liquid Tootsie Roll – but that wasn't a bad thing when paired with brownies.