Week 15 Food Prep Guide + RECIPE: Oven-Finished Pork Chops with Tomatillos
We recommend that you set aside 15-30 minutes to unload your produce and do some quick preparations to help your food last as long as possible. Please consider the following preparation tips to make the most of your purchase.
*Wash all produce before use and either scrub or remove the peels.*
*Pickle or freeze anything you don’t plan to cook in 3-5 days.*
Celery. Refrigerate your celery as soon as possible or it will go limp; if this happens, you can prop it in a cup of water in the refrigerator just like you would do for herbs or freeze it right away. Wrap the celery in a lightly dampened paper towel, then place in a plastic bag and store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. It should keep for up to two weeks. Celery can also be frozen. Wash, cut into your desired size (i.e. diced for soup), then place in a single layer without touching on a lined baking sheet and partially freeze for 30-60 minutes before transferring to an airtight container. Celery pieces will be soft when thawed and are best for cooked preparations like soup or stew.
Parsley, sage, & scallions. Untie the bunch. Place in a mason jar or cup and add a few inches of clean water, just enough to cover only the bottom of the stems. Drape a plastic bag loosely over the top of the leaves, allowing some air to circulate. Wash and use as soon as possible for best quality. Scallion roots can be replanted into a countertop pot or in your garden and will regrow.
Paste tomatoes. Store on the counter, never in the refrigerator. These sauce tomatoes are excellent for processing but nonetheless tasty enough for raw preparations. If you want to use them fresh, simply wash in a 1:8 vinegar to water bath, rinse, and dry before use. If you freeze them, you can actually freeze them whole with the core removed. When they thaw, the skin skips right off for use in sauces or soups. We have provided a generous 1.5 lbs, which is enough for a single batch of quick tomato sauce or gazpacho.
Cherry tomato mix. Store on the counter, never in the refrigerator. If you want to use them fresh, simply wash in a 1:8 vinegar to water bath, rinse, and dry before use. If you freeze them, you can actually freeze them whole. When they thaw, the skin skips right off for use in sauces or soups.
Tomatillos. Store unwashed in a paper bag for either 1-2 days on the kitchen counter at room temperature or up to 2 weeks in the crisper drawer. Inside the husk is a sticky coating that can be removed by running the fruit under cold water for a few minutes.
Garlic. Store on the counter in a dry spot out of direct sunlight. Cool moisture, like in the refrigerator, will encourage the garlic to sprout which gives the cloves a bitter flavor. Stored properly, garlic can last for a few months. This variety is ‘German White’ and is known for its very large cloves and hot flavor.
Oven-Finished Pork Chops with Tomatillos
4 bone-in pork chops, preferably pasture-raised
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 clamshell tomatillos, husks removed, chopped
Optional: 1 serrano pepper, seeds removed, minced; or 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 c chicken stock
Garnish: 1/4 c fresh chopped parsley
Place a well-seasoned cast iron skillet in a cold oven, then preheat to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, rub the pork chops with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. When the oven reaches 400 degrees, carefully remove the skillet, place it on medium high heat, and sear the pork chops for about 3 minutes on the first side, then flip over and continue to cook for 3 minutes on the second side. Remove the partially cooked chops and set on a plate.
Turn the skillet down to medium low heat. Add the sliced onions to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic, oregano, tomatillos, and optional serrano pepper and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the skillet with the chicken stock and stir to combine. Check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper if desired. Return the pork chops to the skillet and place in the oven to finish for about 7-10 minutes or until the pork reaches your desired doneness (or an internal temperature of 145 degrees). Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped parsley