Meat and Potatoes: the Green Edition

You know, I could wax on at length about this dinner and how it was all inspired by this recipe find of spinach artichoke hummus from Gimme Some Oven.  I could tell you how I needed an end-of-the-week pick-me-up, healthy yet tasty, and how the mention of pork chops at work (which happens a lot more than you’d think) made me think I could combine my love of pork with my love of spinach, artichokes and hummus and sure it would be weird but it would also be awesome.  I could tell you how easy this meal was to pull together, even though I had absolutely no idea what to do with the potatoes even as they were cooking; I just knew that I wanted them.  I could tell you how fantastic thick center-cut pork chops are and how they’re even better stuffed with wedges of Cordobes sheep’s milk cheese, or how good potatoes are with meat drippings poured over them, or how surprisingly well spinach-artichoke-hummus can be smothered over said porkchops, cheese and potatoes.

I could do all of those things.  But I will let the pictures speak for themselves:

Now, the only recipe I’m actually going to give you here is the one for the hummus.  The pork chops are more of a method, easy to do, easy to manipulate.  I just bought two good sized, center-cut boneless pork chops.  I cut into the side of each one and stuffed them with slices of Cordobes cheese, which is a Manchego-like Spanish sheep’s milk cheese I found at Whole Foods (delicious).  Then I dredged each pork chop in flour that had been spiked with a garlicky steak rub and dried oregano.  The point of that is the flour adheres to the pork and then helps make a nice golden crusty exterior when you fry it.  I put an oven-friendly cast iron skillet on the stove over high heat, melted down some butter in olive oil and fried the pork chops on each side until browned and then put the whole pan in the oven at 400F for about 10-15 minutes.  Voila.

The potatoes, I really didn’t know what to do with.  I just made it up as I went along, even more so than usual.  I par-boiled them, let the cool and then sliced them lengthwise into half an inch pieces, put them on a baking-sprayed cookie sheet, sprinkled them with salt, pepper and dried oregano and popped them in the oven with the pork.  After I plated everything up, I then drizzled them with the leftover juices from the pork.  Yuuuuuuummmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeee.

All of this was pulled together with the hummus, which I dolloped on top of the pork.  It added a big flavor boost and a nice touch of creaminess–more than a sauce but still just soft and luscious.  Josh wasn’t a huge fan of the hummus because he doesn’t like artichokes, but I do and I loved it; I can’t wait to use it as a sandwich spread.  I’m thinking some focaccia bread, roasted turkey and I haven’t quite decided on a cheese yet, maybe Campo.  But anyway, where was i?  Oh right.  Tastytown, USA, that’s where I was.

Spinach Artichoke Hummus
adapted from gimmesomeoven

1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained (juice reserved)
4 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, drained (add juice to chickpea juice)
2 tbsp. tahini
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried red pepper flake
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and blend until smooth. To thin it out, add in a few extra tablespoons of the reserved chickpea/artichoke juice.

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