Saturday, November 26, 2005

These two recipes are from Jamie Oliver, so forgive the frequent "handful" measurement.

Pork Chops With Thyme, Lemon & Pesto

Serves 4

1 handful thyme, leaves picked
sea salt & ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
4 two-rib pork chop loins, or regular chops
1 small jar store-bought pesto, or use 1 batch of the recipe below

Using a pestle & mortar pound, or very finely chop, thyme with 1 tsp salt.
When pulped, add garlic & 1 tsp black pepper & pound again.
Stir in lemon juice & zest & olive oil.
Smear mixture over chops & leave for at least 10 minutes.
Place chops on very hot griddle or in hot frying pan - make sure the fan is on, they tend to smoke.
Try to get each side nicely charred & golden, but take care & don't let them burn; if it looks like they are getting too much colour, turn the heat down as you really don't want to overcook them.
They take about 8 minutes to cook at medium-high heat.
Rest chops once cooked, then spoon some pesto over them.
Serve with mixed salad & mashed or jacket potatoes (rub with olive oil, roll in sea salt & bake), or basic risotto.

Pesto Sauce

Serves 4

1/4 clove garlic, chopped
3 good handfuls fresh basil, leaves picked
1 handful lightly roasted pine nuts, cooled
1 good handful grated parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & ground black pepper
small squeeze lemon juice (optional)

Put garlic into a mortar & pestle or food processor.
Pound or pulse with fresh basil leaves.
Add pine nuts to mixture & pound or pulse.
Turn out into bowl & add half the parmesan.
Gently stir in & add olive oil, just enough to bind sauce & get it to right consistency - semi-wet but firm.
Taste mixture, & add little salt & pepper & rest of cheese.
Add more oil & taste again.
Keep adding little bits of this & that till you get the flavour as you like it.
When you taste it for the last time, you might want to squeeze a bit of lemon juice to bring out the fragrance of the basil.

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