Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Tuscan Dinner - Tuscan Pork Chops, Parmesan White Beans, Grilled Vegetables

Several years before kids, my husband I took the trip of a lifetime to Italy with our family and friends. All 17 of us, ate our way through Rome, Tuscany, and Venice. We had the rare opportunity to live the "Italian Dream" when we stayed in a beautiful Tuscan Villa. We cooked amazing meals, drank the best wine, and enjoyed all that Tuscany had to offer. Ahhh ... the memories ... I want to go back!!!

Although we cooked most of our own meals at the villa, we did venture out to the local polo club for dinner one night. It was by far the most amazing take on simple cooking I've ever seen. Nothing fancy, just fresh, simple ingredients prepared in a way only the Italians can master ... or so I thought.

Upon our return to the states, my husband and I longed for that taste of Tuscany. So what better way to relive the trip, than to cook up the memories. Over the years we've recreated this meal more than a dozen times, and it always brings us back to that trip of a lifetime. On that note, it only seems appropriate that I share our "Tuscan Dinner" as my first recipe post. Salud!

A Tuscan Dinner
serves 4

Tuscan Pork Chops
4 double cut, thick, bone in pork chops
5-6 cloves garlic
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Peel garlic. Use half as a fresh rub; rub over both sides of the chops. Finely chop the remaining garlic and press into the chops. Sprinkle rosemary, salt and pepper over both sides of chops.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Sear both sides of the meat. Reduce grill heat to medium. Grill until chops are cooked through. Approximately 5-7 minutes per side.

Plate chops, and drizzle with EVOO

Parmesan White Beans
2 cans white cannellini
beans (I like the ones from Trader Joes)
1/2 cup freshly shaved or grated parmesan (or more ... I like cheese!)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat Oven to 375

Drizzle EVOO into the bottom of a small baking dish. Drain beans well (do not rinse), and empty into dish. Top with fresh grated/shaved parmesan cheese. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the top and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper (l like to use fresh cracked).

Baked for 25 minutes or until cheese is slightly golden and a little "crust" has formed over the beans.

The last time I made this meal, I served it with grilled asparagus, but you can really choose what ever veggie you like or have on hand ... italian squash goes really well too! Just add a little EVOO and the same spices used on the pork chops, and throw the vegtables on the grill a few minutes beore the pork is finsihed. You'll have the perfect Tuscan dinner!

1 comment:

  1. I made this meal on Sunday and it was delicious. I had a fun time trying out a new recipe and my hubby loved it! Thanks again!