Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summertime Supper Home Run


The other night we had a typically summertime supper. Grilled meat, potato salad, baked beans, buttermilk biscuits. Yum. Two out of four recipes were new to me, so I was really pleased that they were hits -- two more dishes to add to the summertime lineup.

I really could have used more color on this plate -- note to self: serve tomatoes or something green next time.

The first one I'll post is the Buttermilk Brined Pork Chops. My oldest said that sounded "sketchy." He wasn't sure about soaking pork in "sour milk" for 24 hours. He changed his tune once he tasted them. I used regular old center cut chops, not a thick cut (like these gorgeous America's cut chops) because they were on sale -- definitely could have been overcooked. But with the buttermilk brine they were tender and tasty. The rosemary, sage and lemon zest were mellow -- not overdone at all, in fact I would maybe add a little more rosemary next time because we really like rosemary (maybe we should marry her! Haha!). I cut back a smidge on the salt because I thought 2 T. was too much -- 1 1/2 T was fine. Change noted below. I also cooked 8 chops instead of 4, which the recipe called for, and there was plenty of brine. Change noted.

Buttermilk Brined Pork Chops
serves 6 to 8

2 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 T. kosher salt
2 T. sugar
1 T. grated lemon rind
1 t. chopped fresh rosemary
1 t. chopped fresh sage
8 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
2 t. freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl or lidded container;
stir or shake well to dissolve salt and sugar.
Pour over pork in a large dish;
cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, turning chops once.
Remove pork from brine; discard brine.
Pat pork dry with a paper towel.
Sprinkle pork with pepper.

Grill over medium-high heat until done.


The next recipe is a Roasted Potato Salad. I thought I would wing this one, but at the last minute I checked the Internet and I ended up using a recipe from the Food Network as the base for this recipe. The jury is still out on this one, but only because of me. I think I just prefer a mayo-based potato salad. Doug loved it (his favorite potato salad is German and this has similar flavors) and the kids loved it, so maybe I should just shut up. It was super easy, because you roast the potatoes -- they are chopped before roasting and the peels left on . I'll definitely be trying it again.


Roasted Rosemary Potato Salad
serves 6

1/2 c. olive oil, divided (light tasting or extra virgin)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
3 sprigs rosemary
6 russet potatoes, washed and cut into large dice
2 T. white vinegar
2 t. Dijon mustard
2 T. chopped shallots
2 T. chopped basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix 1/4 c. olive oil, garlic, and pepper.
Pour over potatoes and toss to coat.
Add sprigs of rosemary and toss.
Spread out onto a baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes,
stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
When potatoes are golden brown,
remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle with salt to taste, and let cool.
When potatoes are cool, place them in a bowl
and scrape any pan drippings into a measuring cup.
Add remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.
Pour vinegar and mustard in a small lidded jar or container.
Add oil and shake hard to combine.
Add the shallots.
Pour the dressing over the potatoes and toss.
Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
Add chopped basil.
Let stand for 1 hour at room temperature.


This next recipe is just in case you don't have a buttermilk biscuit recipe. A good summer supper just requires buttermilk biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits

3 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 T. sugar
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
⅔ c. shortening
1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Cut in shortening.
Add buttermilk and stir into a soft dough.
Lightly and briefly, knead dough on floured surface.
Cut into 2-inch squares or rounds.
Place in baking sheets and bake 10-12 minutes.


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