I love using my new induction range in my new kitchen! I was going to share this meal with my general contractor Saturday at lunch, but he’d come in early and left before I got there, to go attend a wedding he’d forgotten he and his wife had committed to. Oh well… his loss!
The kale was going to be the focus of this recipe, since I grew it myself. I planted four plants, but the soil is so lush where they are that it looks for all the world at a distance that there were at least 8, maybe ten, kale plants. My general contractor does love most if not all members of the brassica family; unlike some folk who regard kale as punishment, he does not. My goal in making this dish was 1) to use kale… and 2) to prepare something quick and nutritious for both of us that we’d both like. (He’s diabetic, and the closest “restaurants” for quick lunch turnaround don’t exactly have the healthiest foods. It all seems to be burgers, fries, chili, pizza, and sugary baked goods… Minus vegetables.)
I can’t recollect the variety of kale with absolute certainty, but the reddish stem points to Red Russian Kale (sometimes known as Red Winter Kale). Even though the leaves are large, and they take longer to cook than baby kale, it’s been noted by visitors to my new homestead that this is a milder kale for the leaf size than many. (Yes, I’ve been feeding kale to several and all!!)
The pork came from a Connecticut free-range farm, and is so much tastier and healthier and better for any locale than those factory farmed swill-generating places. These chops were about 3/4 inches thick — much less, and they tend to run dry too quickly, and they are bone-in, which adds more flavor and also makes them more forgiving to cooking vagaries. Thinking about seasonings led me to consider nutmeg, which goes well with pork. Tarragon would go with both, and so… it was.
Prep Time: 10 minutes.
Cook time: about 10 minutes for the chops (depends on thickness and your range), about 15 minutes for the kale/leeks.
Rest time: 5 minutes.
Leftover friendly? Yes, but I’d re-heat the pork chop in the microwave, to encourage it not to dry out.
Quick and Easy Steamed Kale and Pan-Fried Pork Chops
- Two quality pork chops, bone in.
- 3-4 large leaves of kale or equivalent. Ie, lots of smaller leaves.
- 2 or 3 ounces of leek, 1/4 inch slices of a white or light green section. (Clean!!). Sub in onion instead: chop finer.
- 2 small salad turnips, de-rooted, cleaned and diced into quarter inch cubes.
- Avocado oil, coconut oil, or grapeseed oil, for the pan. (High heat tolerant healthy oils.)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
- 2 heaping teaspoons dried tarragon
- Salt and pepper to taste.
For the Kale: Kale, leeks, salad turnips, dried tarragon. Prep all ingredients.
Simmer a vegetable steamer, and add the listed items for the kale, excepting the tarragon to the strainer side of the steamer.
Allow to steam for 15 minutes. As noted, other varieties or ages of kale may take less (or more!) time. My length of time allows for a bit of texture to remain, although it is indeed easy to eat.
Plate and add some tarragon and perhaps ground pepper for additional flavor. (I have also made this by adding a pat of butter when plating.)
For the pork chops: Pork chops, oil, nutmeg, tarragon, salt and pepper.
Pat the pork chops dry. This will help brown them, watery chops will just steam instead. Season with the seasonings on both sides.
Put a skillet on medium high heat on your range, and allow the pan to get hot. Add a small drizzle of your high heat cooking oil. Your goal isn’t to smoke the oil, but to get the pan hot so that when you place your chops down, they won’t stick to the pan. Plus, this will also assist the browning.
Add the chops, and flip after about 3 minutes, (You’ll probably want a splatter guard.)
Flip again after another three.
Lower heat to medium, and allow to cook, flipping once again as needed. Note that every range top is different.
Remove, rest, plate. Add some more tarragon on top.
Serve and enjoy.
This the kale growing outside my house: