Play With Your Food and Make Something Good

A certain food magazine’s cooking without a recipe feature always gets me thinking about what I could do without a recipe. I borrowed their basic idea and name up with my posting category “Play With Your Food.”  How’s this for playing with dinner prep?

From the top: roasted Brussels sprouts and radishes with pan-browned petit pork loin chops with a mushroom pan sauce and thin-sliced Yukon gold potatoes oven-roasted and sharing a little of the pan sauce.

I’ve made a roasted potato and radish salad a few times and have come to enjoy the mellow flavor of roasted radishes.  I figured, why not try the radish with the robust flavor of Brussels sprouts.  Tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 400º oven for 15 minutes, then stirred about and back to the oven for 10 minutes made them just right as a colorful and delicious side.

The pork chops were dipped in milk and dredged in flour, then browned in a couple of Tbsp canola oil.  They were so thin that it took just a couple of minutes to cook four of them.  Removing the chops to drain on paper towels I worked on the pan sauce.  I put equal parts of fat (pan drippings and butter) and flour in a glass measure. I microwaved it for 20 seconds, then stirred and microwaved it again.  Repeating this five or six times cooked the flour and made a nice roux that I thinned with a little milk.  Back at the pan, I added a couple pats of butter and cooked the mushrooms until they released their liquor. Next, I added a splash or two of milk and began to add the roux and stir it until the pan sauce was thick, but not too thick.  I seem to do better with  microwaved roux sometimes than making one in the pan.  The potatoes were placed on parchment paper sprayed with non-stick spay.  They were roasted beside the sprouts and radishes until it was time to toss the veggies.  The potatoes were done by then and removed from the oven and kept warm.  They were tender and a few slices picked up a little nice color while roasting.

This was actually a very simple meal to prepare and the prep was easy.  I played with the sprouts and radishes and with the pan sauce and make something good!

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