pork chop

Sheet-Pan Pork Chops and Brussels Sprouts

by Anne Maxfield on October 28, 2019

When a pork chop fell out of the freezer, I took it as a hint that it was wanting to be dinner. It helped that this recipe was an easy way to get pork and veg on the table. Serves 4:

  • ½ tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 large bone-in pork chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick (about 1 3/4 pounds total)
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through the stem
  • ¼ cup whole sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, cumin seeds, ground cumin, black pepper, red-pepper flakes and garlic until mixture resembles wet sand.

Smear mixture all over pork and let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or refrigerate, covered, up to 24 hours.

Heat oven to 450°. In a bowl, toss Brussels sprouts and sage leaves with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread out on one side of a rimmed baking sheet. Add the pork to the other side of the sheet and place in the oven.

Roast pork chops and sprouts for 15 minutes. Flip the chops over and give the sprouts a stir and continue roasting until the pork is cooked through (135° for medium-rare) and the sprouts are browned and tender, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let pork rest 5 minutes before slicing off the bone as you would a steak. Serve together, with lemon wedges and enjoy!

My verdict: This ended up being a week where the sheet pans got a good workout. Like the chicken recipe, the ease of cooking like this makes it a winner. I had some potatoes that I’d cooked, so I tossed them in the oil and added them to the sheet pan.

My only tweak to this might be to use fewer cumin seeds and increase the ground cumin. It seemed like a lot of seeds, but to be honest, I only cooked one giant pork chop, so the ratio of cumin seeds to pork might have been too high to begin with.

Any vegetable that takes well to roasting would be good if Brussels sprouts aren’t your thing. And I’m sure that lamb chops would do nicely instead of pork, but watch the time, as they generally run smaller.

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Silvia Restaurant: Global and Seasonal in Woodstock

by Anne Maxfield on January 22, 2018

Accidental Locavore Silvia Restaurant InteriorIf you’re looking for a restaurant in the Woodstock area, check out Sylvia. Silvia (named for owners Doris and Betty Choi’s grandmother) opened in August on Mill Hill Road.

There’s a big deck (open in warmer weather) and a discreet sign over the door.

Once inside, you’re looking at a big open dining room, an active, open kitchen and a smaller more intimate room with additional seating and a lively bar.

We were seated at a corner table near the bar, where we could see all the kitchen activity.

The star of Silvia’s open kitchen is a massive wood-fired grill (which was one of the deciding factors in ordering that night’s special—a massive pork chop).

Accidental Locavore Silvia Restaurant BBQ BeefWe started with the Grass Fed BBQ Beef. It was shredded beef to wrap in lettuce leaves and garnish with cabbage salad, kimchi, and topped with the traditional miso garlic paste. The beef was tender and flavorful. We all liked it a lot, but being veterans of many Korean dinners, would have liked the kimchi to pack more heat.

Frank ordered the Chicken Liver Toast, which looked great with its decoration of jeweled beets. He loved it, and we all really liked the horseradish mustard that accompanied it.

Although we scoffed at him when he ordered a salad (thinking it was going to be too much food), the Crumbled Caesar was a terrific riff on a Caesar salad. It featured a poached egg on a bed of escarole, studded with crispy shiitake mushrooms, Parmesan crisps and sourdough croutons in a Caesar dressing. We loved the crunch of the shiitakes and Parmesan crisps.  It was, as Frank said, “simply terrific.”

Accidental Locavore Silvia Restaurant Caesar SaladAs I mentioned, the pork chop special caught my eye. It was a massive 22-ounce chop from Chaljeri Meats, one of many local farmers they work with. It was perfectly cooked, tender and delicious, on a bed of grilled red cabbage. A terrific chop!

Accidental Locavore Silvia Restaurant Pork ChopMy friend went for the Pan Seared Arctic Char which came with broccoli rabe, grilled lemon, parsnip chips and charred leeks with a salsa verde. The sweetness of the fish went well with the bitterness of the broccoli rabe and the salsa was a perfect accompaniment to the char.

Frank got the burger, a tower of meat, shredded Brussels sprouts, cambozola cheese (think Brie meets Gorgonzola), caramelized onions with fries and house ketchup. The fries were good as was the ketchup, but he was way too full from the appetizers and salad to really do justice to his burger.

Portions were generous and everything we took home made for a great lunch the next day!

We didn’t have a chance (or the room) to explore the vegetable menu, but there were some very tempting dishes offered, ranging from pan seared Brussels sprouts to grilled shisito peppers and an ash-roasted kuri squash to name a few.

Accidental Locavore Silvia Restaurant Chocolate TorteAfter a fairly meat-centric menu, it was surprising to see the dessert menu veer towards healthy. There are 5 selections, with a seasonal panna cotta, a butternut squash pudding, a raw chocolate torte, a raw cashew key lime pie and a beet chocolate pots de crème. Both the torte and key lime pie are vegan, and gluten free. Frank had the chocolate torte, which looked amazing—dense layers of chocolate. He thought it was excellent! Because it was vegan and gluten-free, a mixture of nuts, dates and coconut oil replaced butter and the other usual suspects, so it was sadly off limits for me.

The restaurant has two main seating areas, we loved our seat in the bar room, it was cozy and surprisingly quiet even with a busy weekend crowd. If you’re with a family or in a larger group, you might want to opt for the livelier main dining room.

 

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Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish Restaurant

by Anne Maxfield on April 25, 2016

Accidental Locavore Farmer & Fish & FrankThe Accidental Locavore thinks that what goes on in the city should stay in the city, especially when it comes to the useless policy of not seating “incomplete” parties at restaurants. A recent trip to a Westchester restaurant, Farmer and the Fish, highlighted the inanity of this policy. We got there early, had drinks and oysters at the bar and were enjoying ourselves. The hostess came up to us and told us that our friends had called and said they were stuck in traffic and would be there as soon as they could.

As the bar was filling up and getting noisy, we asked to be seated and were told she’d have to check with the manager as it was against policy. Now, she knows that we’re there and our friends are obviously on their way, so it’s not like there’s going to be a no-show. Tim, the manager, refused her and then after a long conversation/disagreement refused us.

Accidental Locavore Farmer & Fish BarBesides being the worst sort of customer service, it’s a big revenue loser. Instead of sitting at the table increasing our check by enjoying a drink and maybe something to nibble, we were in the car fuming and trying to get a cell phone signal to find out how far away our friends were. And the table that they didn’t want to partially fill sat empty for a half an hour. Who does that benefit?

On top of that you know dinner is going to have to be spectacular to appease us. Why make the waitstaff and chefs bear the brunt of a stupid management decision? You only have one chance to make a first impression and my attitude was so abysmal that at this point it would take something like the escargots and chicken from L’Ami Louis (back in the day) to begin to make me smile. But of course, we’re not in Paris, and this is not L’Ami Louis.

Accidental Locavore Farmer and FishOur Empty TableI had a pork chop, which was weirdly salty throughout (probably brined and not rinsed well). Frank had a tuna burger which was much larger than its English muffin bun. Someone had a lobster roll, someone else scallops and there were more oysters for starters. For dessert there was a serviceable apple crisp/tart and an interesting-looking take on a bread pudding that everyone said was good.

The waitstaff was fine, friendly and helpful, but throughout the meal, Tim, the manager, was jovial with our host while subsequently managing to completely ignore us – hard to do, but he’s had practice.

Farmer & the Fish grow a lot of their own produce and source as much as they can locally, which is why our friends thought we would enjoy it and we might have, but sadly, an awful policy led to an evening best forgotten. Interestingly, on CBS This Morning, Saturday, Chef Mike Price was the guest and he said something that made me stop in my tracks. “You can look at people two ways when they walk in the door—like they’re lucky to be there or you’re lucky to have them.” Anyone at Farmer & the Fish listening?

 

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