Well, it’s snowing again. Just a light dusting. But the air is chilly and necessitates something warm and comforting. Something that will not discredit the beauty of winter’s chilly kisses and that will not hint that the driveway is actually covered in a thin layer of ice.
Hey, have you ever noticed that the names of dishes sound so much fancier when said in French? Côtelettes de Porc à la Moutarde. Gratin Dauphinois. A simple, hearty meal elevated to something exotic and at once special. The perfect meal to celebrate the quiet calm that descends with a blanket of fresh snow.
Pork Chops in Mustard Sauce (adapted from My French Kitchen by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde)
I have a friend who ate mustard with everything when we were growing up. Mustard on normal things like hot dogs and chicken fingers and pretzels, but also mustard on more unusual things like Doritos and cookies. Thankfully, pork and mustard is one of those exceptionally harmonious flavor pairings. And this dish is incredibly simple to make.
1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Let it get foamy and then settle down before you even think about adding the pork.
2. Dry 2 boneless pork chops in paper towels then lightly salt each side.
3. Cook the chops in the butter about 8 minutes per side (mine were on the smaller side – you may need to go up to 12 minutes per side, especially if you’re using a bone-in chop).
4. While that’s happening, finely dice half of an onion.
5. When the chops have a slight crust on each side, remove to a plate and cover with foil to rest while you make the sauce.
6. Add the onions to the pork juice and butter and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add 1/3 cup of chicken broth (or white wine, if you’ve got it–I was out). Raise the heat and let it boil quickly until the liquid has reduced down – about 3 minutes.
7. Stir in 1 heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard and let boil gently another minute or two.
8. Lower the heat and melt in 1.5 tablespoons of butter. Spoon over pork chops.
P.S. The title of the post is a line from Billy Collins’s fitting poem, Snow Day.