As women grow up, grow older, are we destined to shadow our mothers?
In first unwitting and then unwilling but unstoppable mimicry of her Depression-era mother, my friend Jan finds herself rinsing plastic bread sacks to dry overnight above the sink, a 1950s homemaker frugality that once annoyed, no infuriated, her.
Here, I saved last night’s leftover beans (two whole beans!) for today’s lunch. More tellingly, the pantry holds a long-empty glass bottle, appealing for its shape and lovely Aegean blue.
It might be useful some time – you know, in case I ever make a fruity vinegar or a rosemary-tinged olive oil, never mind that I never have and likely never will. If I’m to shadow my mother, please, please, please let it be in knowing a thousand tricks for easy suppers like this simple COFFEE CHOP rather than a thousand potential uses for a thousand pretty bottles.
Time-to-table: 15 minutes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 pork chops, about 4 ounces each, fat removed
- About 1 tablespoon sugar
- Salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup strong coffee
- More salt & pepper
Heat a large skillet on medium high. When it’s hot, add the butter and the oil. Meanwhile, season each chop on both sides with sugar, salt and pepper. When the skillet and the fat is hot enough (see ALANNA’s TIPS), add the chops. Cook the first side, without touching or turning the meat, for about 4 minutes. Turn the chops over, reduce the heat to medium and cook the second side for about 5 minutes. Transfer the chops to a plate, preferably warm, and cover loosely with foil.
Add the coffee to the skillet. As it boils up, use a spatula to loosen any meat bits from the bottom and the sides. (This is called de-glazing.) Let the coffee simmer for 2 – 3 minutes until it becomes somewhat syrupy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the chops to a platter or serving plates, pour coffee sauce over top.
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