Super Thick Pork Chops!

Being able to explore and find different places to buy and eat amazing foods is something I love to do. One of those places is McCann’s Local Meats in the Southwedge, in Rochester, NY. I can’t say enough good things about this place. Not only do they sell some amazing locally-raised meats and butcher everything in-house, but they also have an amazing cafe! I have eaten at the cafe a number of times and it is always AWESOME!

I decided to try some of their thick-cut pork chops. I had never cooked a thick-cut pork chop before. My experience cooking pork chops in the past has always left me wondering why they are so dry. This was very different. I used a cooking method that combined pan searing and oven roasting (full recipe linked here) as a guide and the results were awesome. I was able to cook a very different pork chop than I had in the past.

I did NOT brine the chops. Considering how good they tasted without the brine, I can’t wait to brine them next time. There are several variables that may have contributed to how different these chops turned out. The cut of meat was of high quality and the cooking method was also something I never had tried before. Whatever it was, it worked! Compared to my previous pork chop cooking experiences, the most noticeable difference was the texture of the meat. It had the consistency of a good, tender NY Strip steak. There was no chewiness or dried-out texture.

I served the pork chop with some roasted, local, organic beets, and a homemade pasta salad. DE-LI-CIOUS!

Please feel free to share any thoughts, ideas or inspiration.

The Big Salad

I know this is a little out of season and I started writing this in September, but here it is.

Summer and Fall are great times to play with awesome seasonal veggies and to create some amazing salads. I will call this a “lighter” meal, but when I get done adding things, “light” is probably not the best adjective to use. I have enjoyed making variations of this meal for years!

I like to start with a combination of romaine lettuce and some type of organic leafy mix. Next is to decide on what you want to add to your salad. This is where the real fun is!  There is no such thing as too many things to add into this salad! Here is my typical list (Warning, this can turn into a prep nightmare if you aren’t careful. Here are few suggestions to help get a handle on the prep. Plan out what you want to add in advance. Boil the eggs way before you need them so they have time to chill. Make sure you have a good-quality, sharp knife, and if possible get a prep helper. I would also suggest you watch some Youtube videos on knife skills). of add-ins: artichoke hearts, tomatoes, onions, olives, cucumber, carrots, hard-boiled eggs, sweet peppers, chickpeas, avocados, etc. I also grill and thinly slice chicken, steak or pork to add to the salad, though it is entirely NOT necessary. Feel free to add or subtract to this list.

For a dressing, I like to make my own. I use a combination of organic balsamic and red wine vinegar, organic olive oil and a little water. I season the dressing with dried oregano, dried? basil, salt, pepper, parmesan/romano cheese, and garlic powder. I use fresh herbs and garlic when I have them on hand. I usually let the dressing sit for about an hour before I use it. The dressing is based on my Grandma Rose’s recipe, so good!

Dressing Ratios:

  • ⅓ cup Olive Oil
  • ⅓ cup Vinegar
  • ⅓ cup Water

The last thing I usually include is a nice piece of crusty toasted bread that I drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

Serve and enjoy!

I would love to hear any suggestions or variations to this salad!