More often than not, I just want to get dinner on the table quickly. Here, Sarah fromPink of Perfection shares a perfectly elegant way to do that. — Kim Walker
I am forever on the lookout for dinner recipes that are ready in the time it takes my husband to open a bottle of wine. Though I recently rediscovered the rela fun of weekend cooking and its altogether different rhythm of stirring, then walking away to read on the couch for half an hour while something simmers on the stove top and Maria Callas spins on the record player, weeknight cooking for me is a different beast.
If I have had a jam-packed day, and walked in the door at seven feeling cold and hungry, I want to be sitting down on the couch with a plate of food on my lap and an episode of The West Wing queued up as quickly as possible. Chopping an onion soothes my nerves and stirring a risotto gets me to stand still and just chill, but aside from that, I just want to eat already.
And while there are beans and rice kind of nights where we are eating something humble, no bones about it, sometimes I want to get away with a bit of trickery. In the time it takes Sebastian to find the corkscrew, pull down two wine glasses, tell me a story from his day and finally pop out the cork, why, look at that: I've thrown together something elegant(-ish). Now, let's go hang out with Toby and the gang! (I'm taking notes on how I can be Abbey Bartlet when I grow up.)
I discovered this recipe because I had bought a giant bunch of dill for another purpose and wanted to make quick use of what was left. This recipe was a lovely find. It fits all of my criteria for sleight-of-hand weeknight cooking: quick, delicious, and fine enough, even, if the Deputy Chief-of-Staff himself were joining us for dinner.
Pork Chops with Creamy Mushrooms and Dill
adapted slightly from Gourmet
2 (1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick) boneless pork chops
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 pound mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (I used nonfat to no ill effect)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over high heat until foam subsides, then saut© chops until browned and just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer chops to a platter and keep warm, covered.
Reduce heat to moderate and add remaining tablespoon butter to skillet. When foam subsides, cook onion and mushrooms, stirring, until tender, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream or yogurt, water, any meat juices that have accumulated on platter, dill, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through. (Do not let boil.) Spoon sauce over chops. Serve with some bulgur or—even quicker—couscous, and call it a night.