Monday, August 27, 2012

Pork Parmesan and Roasted Balsamic Vegetables

This gorgeous dinner is from a few weeks back when I was still toying with the idea of a blog. I snapped a pic of the finished product just in case I actually followed through with this! I'm glad I did, because this was one of the most delicious meals I made this month. It was really more of a fall meal, and I probably could have made it even better, but it was a rush job. I remember I didn't even feel like cooking that night, and I was so close to ordering a pizza or getting fast food. But I had taken out the pork chops and felt guilty about being unhealthy and spending too much money on unnecessary food. So I threw this meal together, and it was far more healthy and satisfying than anything I could have ordered at a restaurant.

I'm drooling just looking at the photo and remembering how scrumptious it was! Now you'll have to bear with me through the recipe. I'm going on memory here since it was a few weeks back that I actually created this. Most of the time when I'm cooking, I don't use a recipe. I also rarely measure anything. I'm comfortable enough in my kitchen that I can eyeball. So I'll do my best to estimate measurements and describe in detail the steps I took, because believe me, you are going to want to make this.

Pork Parmesan in a Pan

2 boneless pork chops, cleaned and excess fat trimmed
1 large egg
a few teaspoons of water
salt, pepper
hand full of breadcrumbs (maybe a cup?)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 jar marinara sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tomato, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, to garnish

Mix the egg, water, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup parmesan, and parsley together on a piece of parchment paper or a plate. Taking the pork chops one at a time with a fork, dip in the egg mixture coating both sides and letting the excess drip off, and then place in the breadcrumb mixture and coat thoroughly.

Heat the oil in a large fry pan that has a lid over medium-high heat. Place the pork chops in the pan and fry, turning after 5-7 minutes. Add the marinara sauce, turn down the heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If you're awesome and make your own marinara, that would be even better. But like I said, this is the quick version. Also, traditional chicken/pork/veal/eggplant parmesan is cooked in the oven, but again, I'm doing the fast version).

Flip over the pork chops and top each with half of the mozzarella cheese, and then half of the parmesan cheese. Allow the cheese to melt.

When ready to serve, place the pork chop on the plate with some sauce on the side and garnish with the chopped fresh tomato and basil.

Roasted Balsamic Vegetables

10 cloves of garlic, peeled (and halved, if desired)
1/2 large sweet onion
1 zucchini
20-30 baby carrots
10 cremini mushrooms
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt, pepper
1 tbsp fresh rosemary

Coarsely chop the onion, zucchini, and mushrooms, and place in a large bowl with the garlic and baby carrots. Add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and rosemary, and toss to coat vegetables. For an enhanced flavour, cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the vegetables out on a large, flat, baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring/flipping halfway through the cooking time.

Simple, flavourful, healthy, and delicious! This would make a great date meal with a nice bottle of wine and some soft tunes playing in the background. My pick for this meal is a little Adele. I am obsessed with her album 21, and I can't wait until I get my piano moved into my house from my parents so that I can start learning to play the songs. Since I'm thinking date meal, I won't pick one of her breakup songs (of which there are many!), but one about a newly blossoming love - One and Only.

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