One beaming ray of sunshine in the exhaustion that was last Friday was the farmers market. I had to go there anyway to cover a last-minute story, but I managed to meet up with Matt and buy some food, too. We grabbed green beans, corn, carrots, lettuce, a few goodies for lunch, elk sausage, and the highlight of our dinner that evening, smoked pork chops.
A few months ago we went out to dinner at the swanky restaurant in town and Matt ordered the smoked chop. It was delicious (far better than the duck I ordered) but all through the meal he was coming up with ideas of how he would have cooked it to make it better.
Turns out the chops at the market are the same ones at that restaurant! Sunrise Meat and Sausage, from near Rainy River, supplies the restaurant and sells at the farmers market, much to our delight.
While Matt lit the BBQ, I made a quick batch of curried green beans. They’re really simple, but I could eat them like candy. You simply put trimmed beans, a tablespoon or two of butter, anywhere from 1/4 teaspoon to two tablespoons of curry powder depending on your preference, and a dash of smoked paprika into a skillet with enough water to cover the beans. Boil it, then briskly simmer until most of the water is gone– the first time I made them I didn’t simmer long enough and the curry flavour wasn’t apparent, so the trick is to let it reduce heavily.
With the grill hot, Matt brushed a few pineapple rings with maple syrup and put them on first, letting the syrup caramelize. The vendor at the market told us to just heat the chops instead of trying to cook them, as they’re already cooked and you don’t want them to get dry.
So, he did the same thing with the chops– a bit of maple syrup and onto the grill.
We served the beans and chops with a really simple salad containing just lettuce, a balsamic-olive oil dressing, goat feta, and sliced olives. A bit of applesauce for the pork, and dinner was complete.
Dessert was the pineapple rings, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I told Matt I’d happily buy those chops at every market from now ’till September. They were that good. I can’t wait for next market day!