Thursday, February 29, 2024

Weekly Cooking Report February 29: Leap Day Agrodolce and other things

Happy Pirates of Penzance day everyone! Also, today is the day you ladies can safely proposition your menfol... <holds finger to ear> Oh... Propose to! Yes, that tracks more to old folk customs. 

This week we're going to do some simple things in order to have fun with the sauce, which is also simple.

The man body of todays meal is boneless pork chops cooked with Shake and Bake, couscous, and roasted cauliflower. Yes, I use Shake and Bake, it's freaking delicious, easy, takes 20 minutes, and the goal is to put dinner on the table inside your capacity with minimal effort. The Couscous we've covered before - boil water, add couscous and spice pack from box, cover, take off heat, wait 10 minutes. During the time the water is coming to a boil chop up the cauliflower head and put it on a sheet pan. Slide that pan in on the rack under the pork chops so they cook for 10 minutes. Chops, couscous, cauliflower, it's a beige alliterative meal! 

Now on to the fun stuff: Agrodolce sauce. This stuff is delicious and super-versatile. You'll need some olive oil (1 TBS), 2 medium onions sliced thin, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and two plum tomatoes seeded and diced. You should have about 2 cups of onions and 1 cup of tomatoes. 

Now, in theory, the recipe I have calls for 1/4 cup of golden raisins and 1 tablespoon of capers but raisins in savory is anathema and I'm not a fan of capers. Your mileage may vary. 

Just heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are softened and golden, about 10-12 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and I suppose the raisins and capers (if you're some kind of goddamn monster) and simmer until it gets a syrup consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Then stir in the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes or so until they are softened, and transfer everything to a bowl. 

Does that look like it will take about the 20 minutes it takes to get the pork chops done, assuming you slice the onions first? WHY YES, YES IT DOES. When everything is out spoon the agrodolce over the cauliflower, or over any part you want, I don't judge. 

Except about the raisins. I just the raisins. 

Serve to a grateful family. 

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