Tuesday, April 25, 2006

four ingredients cannot be gourmet

last week at the office, i had just heated up my leftovers and was heading back to my desk to munch them, when everyone started to remark about how good my lunch smelled and how wonderful it looked. i think this is one of the most essential elements of a good recipe: leftoverability. since i usually live alone, if its not still yummy the next day, its not a good idea for me to cook it. i cannot depend on someone other than the garbage disposal to eventually finish it off. so i began to tell my coworks about my leftovers...its got sausage...tomatos...white wine... and that is about how far i got when they decided to be impressed and call it gourmet. i disagree. i think gourmet should take more effort and this is a really simple recipe, but hey, impress your friends: cook with wine. if you do decide to sip on the wine as you are cooking, make sure you set your 1/2 cup aside first. one time i had friends over and accidentally portioned out the whole bottle before i got a chance to cook with it. thank goodness there is a liquor barn nearby. and if you don't like the idea of wine, the baking isle of your grocery store will sell you nice non-alcoholic options or even apple juice will do. either way, the alcohol is cooked off before you eat it.

Spanish Pork and Sausage Casserole

2 T olive oil
4 boneless pork chops
4 sweet italian sausages
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup white wine
8 plum tomatos, chopped (i buy two cans of chopped tomatoes. they even make seasoned ones now too)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
2 T chopped parsley (i think this is for looks, i've never bothered with it)

heat the oil in a large, deep skillet on high. brown the pork chops on both sides, set aside. add the sausages, onion, and garlic to pan and cook over medium heat until sausages are browned and the onions are softened. return the chops to the pan. dump in the tomatoes, wine, and bay leaf. salt and pepper to taste. cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until all meat is done. remove the sausages from the pan, slice, and return to pan. the cookbook i found this in recommends the very imaginative salad and bake potatoes for side items. i prefer mashed (but the picture shows over pasta as that is what andrew prefers). i like to get a little bit of everything on my fork; the mash potatoes will hold it all together better than baked and thus be more likely to make it to my piehole.


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