Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Last Night's Dinner

Yesterday's warm and sunny weather made me want to barbecue something and serve it with potato salad made from the gem-like, tiny red potatoes I'd gotten at Quail Hill on Tuesday. But I didn't want to make anything too summery. So I bought some boneless center cut pork chops at the IGA, pounded them to about 1/3-inch thickness, and marinated them in about 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar before grilling them quickly (6 minutes total was about right). The vinegar gave them a shiny mahagony crust and great flavor. For the salad, I roasted the potatoes and mixed them with a delicious dressing very heavy on the mustard and with some ground fennel seeds, which tasted great with the pork. Here's the recipe:

Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard and Fennel Seed

Serves 6

2 ½ pounds small new potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces if necessary

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ground fine in a spice grinder

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil. Toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until softened and golden, about 35 minutes.

2. While the potatoes are roasting, whisk together the mustard, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, shallot, garlic, ground fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon salt, and ground black pepper to taste.

3. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly. Toss with the dressing and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the parsley. Serve warm or refrigerate for up to 1 day and serve chilled.

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