A Bit Of Winter

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This post is dedicated to all of my friends who were part of the many dinners my brother and I hosted during college. Some of my favorite memories are of friends telling me what they “don’t eat” though they’ve never tried it and getting them to try something new by incorporating it into something more familiar. You really can’t go wrong with a good pork chop and the chops from the Cutrer’s at the Farmers market always pleases. The sides are where you can really get creative with introducing seasonal vegetables like fennel, turnips and daikon in new ways that are tasty and easy to make. Mashed potatoes are a easy go-to side that is the perfect dish to incorporate like-colored vegetables like daikon, turnips or parsnips. With this dish, I can now say I’ve used all three at one point or another. Another easy dish is roasting vegetables. Give the broccoli and cauliflower a break and try these other winter veggies instead. It is one of my new favorites.

I know today begins Lent; however this post was delayed due to Mardi Gras and moving forward all post through the Lent season will highlight our great Louisiana Seafood. Enjoy and be sure to like it and share it.

Potatoes ingredients:
1 cup quartered ( cut potato in half, he halve each half) small red potatoes with skin
1/2 cup of peeled and diced daikon or turnips
1/2 cup of thinly-sliced yellow onion
2 tsp sea salt

Roasted Veggies Ingredients:
2 cups of quartered turnips
1/2 cup of chopped fennel
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
 Pork Chops Ingredients:
4 pork chops bone in
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of green onion
11/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil
3. Wash and quarter potatoes. Peel and chop the daikon into smaller pieces than the potatoes as they will need longer to cook. (If using turnips, wash thoroughly, cut off bottoms and cut into small quarters). Thinly slice half and onion. Add all ingredients to the  pot and let boil for 20-25 minutes.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash veggies. If using whole fennel, cut off stalks as you will only roast the bulb. Save fronds ( soft green tops) for plating and salads during the week. Cut a medium-sized bulb in half and then quarter each half. You should have 8 pieces. If using multiple smaller bulbs you want 8-10 pieces of fennel. Add to the cooking sheet.
5. Cut turnip bottoms off and quarter each turnip. You will need 6-8 turnips. Add to the cooking sheet.
6.Using half and onion, slice and dice the onion into bite-sized pieces. Add to the cooking sheet.
7. Drizzle the olive oil over the veggies and mix gently with your hand making sure they are evenly coated. Sprinkle the seasoning on top in a light, even coat. Place in the oven for 15-17 minutes.
8. Add olive oil to the pan and let heat over medium-high heat.
9. While heating the oil, use half of the seasoning on one side of the pork chops and then place in the heated oil seasoned-side down. Season the other side with the remaining seasonings. This should cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the chop.
10. Wash your hands and then strain your potatoes.
11. Flip pork chops, reduce the heat to low- medium, then add green onion and a 1/4 cup of water to the pan before topping it.
12. Add strained potatoes, daikon and onion back to the pot you boiled them in or a bowl of preferred and add butter before mashing with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
13. Remove veggies from the oven and turn off all heat, including pork chops.
14. Plate and enjoy. An optional addition is topping the roasted veggies with some of the fennel fronds for added color and a burst of flavor.

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