To demonstrate my agility, flexibility and MacGyver-like traits, I am using my (now somewhat thickish) black bean soup for garnishing brunch before putting the rest in the freezer (perhaps never to be seen again, for awhile anyways) and that, I promise, will be the last you will hear, from me, about black beans and soup (for at least a fortnight).
Brunch, to me, is basically anything served between 10 am and 3 pm that contains an egg (on it, in it, or next to it) but only on weekends and holidays, and especially if accompanied by a mimosa or Bloody Mary. This is a slightly odd perspective I realize, partly because brunch should, in theory (at least in the U.S.) be lighter than dinner. Yet with this egg theory, it is (sometimes) actually adding additional content to an already perfectly well-rounded and substantial meal. Be that as it may, I equate eggs with morning meals, perhaps due to my somewhat traditional, American upbringing, and therefore feel an egg is required at brunch (a combination of breakfast and lunch). To go one further, lunch (or dinner for that matter) actually turns into brunch with the addition of an egg. Regardless of this somewhat skewed reasoning, an egg, a really good, farm-fresh egg, is a lovely partner to many suiters and to this, I will happily adapt.
Pan-fried Pork Chop with Black Bean Mash, Macerated Zucchini and a Sunny-side-up Egg
INGREDIENTS (for the Zucchini)
Per person – (5) five, 1/8″ slices Zucchini squash cut on the diagonal (mix of green and yellow)
Per person – (2) two pieces of cut tomato
1 TB champagne vinegar per 10-15 slices
2 pinches sea salt per 10-15 slices
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Drizzle of olive oil to just barely coat the squash (1 tsp or so)
PREPARE (the zucchini)
PUT the zucchini and tomato pieces into a bowl and ADD the rest of the ingredients. MIX TOGETHER and set aside.
INGREDIENTS (for the black bean mash)
Per person – 1/4 cup thickened black bean soup*
*I had leftover black bean soup which prompted my idea for this brunch but if you don’t have black bean soup made, you could simply open a can of black beans (or better yet, cook your own), drain and rinse the canned beans and add them to a sauté of chopped onions. To this sauté, add a little chili spice, salt, pepper, cumin and oregano. Douse it all with a little orange juice and cook for a further 10 minutes until the juice has soaked in. Mash the beans with the back of a stirring spoon. Adding a little olive oil or yogurt will help make them be more pliable and will enhance the taste.
INGREDIENTS (for the pork)
Per person – one center-cut, thin, pork rib chop (bone in)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper for seasoning
A few dollops of plain yogurt
Panko (enough to coat chop(s))
Per person – 1 egg cooked sunny-side-up
COOK (the pork)
SEASON the pork with salt and pepper. POUND it between wax paper to help tenderize. RUB OVER a little plain yogurt; enough to coat and noticeably see white on the pork. PRESS the pork into a plate of Panko to adhere fully on each side.
HEAT a pan and add olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil moves freely when tilting the pan, ADD the pork and cook over medium high heat until the first side is evenly browned, 2-4 minutes. TURN and brown the other side but do not over cook. Depending on the heat of your stove and the thickness of the pork, the time needed will vary. Thin pork cooks fairly quickly though so be sure to stay with it and look to press down any raw edges but remove before it becomes tough.
Just as the pork is cooking, you can begin cooking the egg(s). If you have room, you could cook the egg(s) in the same pan. Set the pork aside to a warm spot as the egg finishes cooking. The trick to a sunny egg is to cook the egg white through without turning the egg over. I like my egg a little crispy on the bottom so I do mine over butter but this is an interesting method that I found and will next time give a try.