Pork and Polenta

The weather has been pretty unseasonably warm around here, so I thought I’d take advantage of it and grill a pork chop, tonight. As most of you know, weather usually doesn’t stop me from grilling if I’m of a mind to – the grill is in a covered area away from the elements. It rained all night and most of the day, but my grilling area was just fine. It may get cold out there, but it’s always dry.

The chop was done really simply – I liberally doused it with Penzey’s Mural of Flavor spice blend. It’s odd… I always considered myself a non-spice blend person, hence the 9 million different herbs and spices in the cupboard. Of course, I didn’t count poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning, French herbs, herbes d’provence, Za’atar, Berbere, Chinese five spice, jerk seasoning… you get the picture… I’m not a spice blend person except for the dozen or so spice blends I use. Penzey’s has made me rethink some of that with their samples and freebies and discounted prices – and liberal politics.

Chop on the grill. Basic as it gets.

The polenta was a bit different. I roasted a sweet potato, riced it, and mixed it in with the simmering polenta! I used to pretty much always make polenta with milk and add a bunch of cheese. I’m back to making it with water, and the sweet potato added the creaminess I like without all of that dairy. A bit of garlic powder, salt, and pepper were the only seasonings.

In the middle of it all was arugula and leeks. I thinly sliced a leek and sautéed it in a pat of butter. I added some white wine, and when it completely reduced, I added the arugula, salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic powder, as well. I cooked it until it was completely wilted, and then made a ring of the polenta, placed the arugula in the center, and the sliced pork chop on top.

Layers of goodness!

Neither of us cleaned our plates. We’re almost starting to get the hang of this!

Almost.

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