Sunday, August 29, 2010
Pork and Peaches (Moving Day, the Mother of Invention)
My family has been living in two places simultaneously for the past month. We've been painting and moving small things (read: books) since late July. Between moving the majority of our furniture last weekend during a tropical New Jersey monsoon and moving the remaining furniture (read: bookshelves) this weekend - as well as a three full day orientation at the Archdiocese for my new job- , there hasn't been much time to do any thoughtful cooking. Or anything else. However, yesterday after finishing the move, we decided to go with husband's parents to the orchard and do some light apple- and peach/nectarine-picking.
I returned to the old apartment in the evening to clean the bathroom and try to move some straggling items (read: mainly books) over to the new place. After such an evening, one wants to cook with as much on hand as possible and spend minimum time in the grocery store and kitchen. So one brief run to the store later, I improvised the following meal using our fresh peaches and nectarines, with inspiration from Angela's pairing of the pork chops and sauteed peaches:
1. Sauteed chopped shallots in olive oil for a couple minutes. Added some fresh thyme and salt. Then added about 2 cups chicken stock, brought to boil; added 1.5 cups couscous, stir. Covered and took off heat, let sit undisturbed about 15 minutes.
2. In cast iron: in a little olive oil, cooked four Italian sausages, cut into pieces. Once browned, added one peeled sliced peach and one peeled sliced nectarine (I maybe would have used two peaches instead of a nectarine, but I used the fruits which had been bruised during picking). I let these soften and get a little caramelized, then I added some roughly chopped spinach only long enough to wilt.
3. Fluffed the couscous and served as a bed for sausage-fruit-spinach mixture. Great with a few generous squeezes of lemon.
As we ate dinner, we watched Iron Chef, Battle: Suckling Pig (I have cable now, for the first time in my life). I felt pretty proud of myself when one of the chefs did a speck and peach pairing: hey, pork and peaches! I did not, however, make a scrambled egg/pig brain snack, or anything with trotters; although husband and I have devised the most brilliant (seriously) idea for a restaurant that involves offal and would be a huge hit in Manhattan. I decline to elaborate here, suffice to say it would be titled Simply Offal.
Did I mention I love my new kitchen? 'Cause I do. Counter space and cabinet space are a novelty.