Sometimes the simple things are the best. Before living with Tony, I used to cook without a recipe. Not very well but I didn’t care because nobody had to eat the food but me.
Now I’m cooking for 2, it’s more important for me that the meals taste good. Besides, meal + shopping planning is so much easier when you cook by recipe.
I started this system 3-4 years ago and we’ve been doing it ever since:
1. Once a month we pick 12-14 recipes of meals we want to cook (this used to last us a month because each meal would last us 2 days BUT lately it’s only lasted us one day per meal: we’ve been eating double since going to yoga).
2. We compile a list of all the ingredients we need that are not already existing in our fridge, freezer or cupboards
3. We do an online grocery shop and get all the month’s shopping delivered
4. We cook all the meals in order of which ingredients will go off first.
5. Repeat for the following month
We’ve been doing that for so long now that I’ve forgotten how to cook without a recipe and often rely heavily on the recipe to remember ingredients and quantities no matter how many times I’ve cooked something.
So it was interesting what impromptu meals we ended up with when we had spare pork chops left in the freezer. On the show “Masterchef”, this would be called an “Invention Test”.
This is what we ended up with…
I decided I’d just make it simple. It didn’t have to look spectacular, so all I did was season the pork chop with salt and pepper, fried it then added a knob of butter, fresh thyme leaves and squeezed lemon on at the end. Served this with potatoes (also seasoned with salt, pepper and added butter and thyme) plus a salad using whatever was left in the fridge, in this case, apple, celery, raisins, carrots and lettuce.
I was so surprised with how this tasted! It was simple but really good and the meat was soft, moist and juicy!
Tony decided he’d make pork schnitzel but we didn’t have breadcrumbs so he improvised and used the “Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix” we had in the cupboard to crumb the pork (after smashing it with a meat mallet). Don’t be deceived by looks… this was actually DELICIOUS and the meat was tender on the inside and the crumb was flavourful and crunchy!! We also ate this with salad.
Can you imagine how simple and uncomplicated both of these meals were? The effort to reward ratio was definitely way up on the reward side! And we found a new use for stuffing mix!! We were both so chuffed with the results!
So how would you have made your pork chops?