Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday dinner

The weekend allows for more time in the kitchen, so for Sunday’s dinner I decided on the pork chops with carmelized onions on a bed of whipped squash. While this is a not a typical French dish, it is typical of the kind of meal you might eat at a French bistro.

The ingredients are simple and spare:

4-6 pork chops, bone in or boneless, room temp and salted
3 medium size yellow onions
1 acorn squash
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cut the squash in half, sprinkle with salt and arrange the squash, inverted, in one layer in a buttered baking dish. Bake the squash, covered with foil, in the middle of a preheated 375°F oven for 1 hour. When it is finished baking, allow the squash to cool. When the squash is cooled, scoop it out, add butter to your taste, a pinch or two of nutmeg, and mash it. You could also use a food processor, but I like to keep it simple. You can keep the squash warm in a slow oven while you prepare the chops.

Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy bottomed skillet—a pat of butter and a teaspoon of olive oil per onion. Thin slice the onions and put them into the heated skillet. I like to salt my onions, to bring out the flavor, but it isn’t necessary. The key to caramelizing onions is to slow cook them—about 30 minutes. This releases the natural sugars which caramelize and give the onions that rich, sweet flavor.

When the onions are caramelized, remove them from the skillet, add a bit more oil and butter then add the pork chops. The key is to brown the chops on the outside and cook them through without burning them.

While you can serve the chops, squash, and onions side-by-side on a plate, I prefer to plate the chops in a rimmed shallow bowl on a bed of squash, then top with the onions and a sprig of fresh thyme. This evening I served an inexpensive Shiraz, and for dessert, fresh grapes.

The ingredients were fresh and the cost of the meal came in at around $8.00, which delights my frugal French side

Next post: Monday dinner


  1. I am going to have to try this!! It sounds very easy to make but looks elegant and quite tasty!

  2. Sounds wonderful! Does your son like this kind of cooking? Mine gives everything a "polite bite" (because after a few months of polite bites, he eventually develops a taste for most things), but like most teens, he'd rather grab a sub sandwich somewhere. Breaks my heart!!

  3. That looks yummy! And very much like a French bistro version!

  4. This is absolutely great. You're absolutely right, it definitely has the feel of a French meal. So funny your reference to the French-frugal detail. How do they manage to make "frugal" so attractive?

  5. Tish, it's all in the presentation. Oh so French.

  6. So I decided to challenge myself and just scoured my local flyer and came up with almost all the same things on sale so we will be trying this. Can we hear how the rest of the week went with receipes . BTW made the peach confiture...delightful!

  7. well I made the pork chops this weekend and they were exquisite. I cooked the caramelized onions for a long time and baked the squash until it was perfectly soft. It is really a simple recipe but it tastes complicated. Great for company! Thanks

  8. This looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing. :)

    A wonderful day to you,

  9. This looks soooo yummy. Hope you are not still under the weather, hope all is going okay!

  10. A,
    I don't think my last post worked. I nominated you for an award. Ciao bella
    Hope you are well