As much as I hate to say it, this was another one of those recipes that made the kitchen (and whole townhouse) smoke! I came home from rehearsal to find all the windows open and Will fanning out the kitchen. Apparently, I missed a doozy of a good time, but I got to experience the aftermath, which was our wonderful dinner. Despite getting stressed because of the whole smoke situation, Will managed to get dinner on the table and we both enjoyed this perfect-portion-sized meal. We realized it had been a long time since we had eaten the standard meat-veggie-starch type of dinner, so this was kind of a nice change of pace for us. It was definitely reminiscent of dinners from my own childhood, which was comforting.
This Southernish-style dinner included pork (of course), which we very rarely get, for no real reason. This dinner reminded us what a good variety pork can bring to our meal cycles. We usually only eat chicken and fish, but pork is a wonderful re-addition to our meal cycle. We also immensely enjoyed the butternut squash, which combined with the sage, created an aromatic creation that beautifully complimented the pork and kale. Overall, a successful meal!
Cooking Notes: Will halved the recipe since we only needed to be for one night and he wanted to use the butternut squash for another recipe. Also, he used ground sage as opposed to the sage leaves the original recipe calls for. We also opted to go for boneless pork, even though the original recipe called for bone-in pork. Will thinks this may have affected the way it cooked, but it still turned out fine.
Roasted Pork Chop with Butternut Squash and Kale (adapted from Real Simple; serves 2)
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbsp ground sage
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp olive oil
Fresh ground salt and pepper
2 boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with sage, 1/2 tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 30-35 minutes. When the squash has cooked for 20 minutes, being to heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the pork with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook until browned, 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to the baking sheet with the squash and roast until the pork is cooked through, 6-8 minutes more.
Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale, 1/8 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook, tossing the kale until tender, 5-7 minutes. Serve with pork and squash.