What are you cooking for your sweetie (or your sweet friend or your sweet self) for Valentine's Day?
It's a rare pleasure to buy a couple of splurge ingredients at the grocery store or farmers' market and savor them over the week to come. I've been doing that with fancy cheeses, cured meats, fresh seafood and produce from a local farm and sharing them with my sweetie, a handsome fellow named Tim who makes the best over-easy eggs, thanks to a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a lot of love in that flip.
Last year, he was diagnosed with GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease, which means he can't eat garlic, onions, tomatoes, citrus, coffee, peppers or anything carbonated.
We'll be cooking in for Valentine's Day this week, so I found these two pork recipes, one that includes a good number of shallots and balsamic vinegar, which we both love but Tim can't eat, and another that gets its punch from herbs and miso paste, a GERD-friendly way to add flavor to many dishes. You could make the pork chop recipe with a miso slurry instead of balsamic vinegar and no shallots to make it more GERD- or low-FODMAP friendly. Or change up the vegetables using the suggestions from "Mediterranean" author Susie Theodorou.
Roasted Pork Chops with Broccoli Rapini
You can vary the flavor combos, adding dried oregano (for sesame) and lemon juice (instead of vinegar) to the chops while cooking, and the vegetable in the pan can be small florets of cauliflower (in place of broccoli rapini). Another combo can be roughly crushed coriander seeds (for sesame), dry or sweet sherry (for vinegar) and parsnips (in place of broccoli rapini).
— Susie Theodorou
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 brined pork chops, drained and patted dry
8 shallots, halved lengthways
1 pound broccoli rapini or tender broccoli, cut into large pieces
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Salad and/or rice pilaf, to serve
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan, add the pork chops and sear on each side over a high heat for 5 minutes, until you get a good even brown color. Take off the heat and set aside.
Drain the excess fat out of the pan, leaving only about 2 tablespoons. Add the shallots, cut-side down, and the broccoli and sear, turning once, until slightly charred. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan. Return the chops, broccoli and shallots to the pan, add 1/4 cup water and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Serve with a fresh salad and/or a pilaf.
— From "Mediterranean: Naturally nutritious recipes from the world's healthiest diet" by Susie Theodorou (Kyle Books, $19.99)
Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Miso-Roasted Turnips
Here’s another way to use miso. If you can find young turnips with the greens attached, give the greens a quick chop and toss them into the turnip-miso mixture — they have a nice peppery flavor.
— Editors of Prevention magazine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 pound pork tenderloin (wrap and freeze the other half), trimmed
3/4 pound turnips, scrubbed and quartered
1 tablespoon white or yellow miso paste
1 tablespoon hot water
1 tablespoon ghee, melted
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine the oil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the pork and set the pork in the prepared baking dish.
In a medium bowl, vigorously mix the miso and hot water until the miso dissolves. Stir in the ghee until well combined. Add the turnips, tossing to coat. Scatter the turnips around the pork.
Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 145 degrees, 13 to 15 minutes. Carefully transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board and cover with foil. Stir the turnips and return them to the oven. Roast until tender and golden, 10 minutes more. Slice the pork and serve it with the turnips alongside.
— From "Prevention No Bloat Diet: 50 Low-FODMAP Recipes to Flatten Your Tummy, Soothe Your Gut and Relieve IBS" from the editors of Prevention magazine, Cassandra Forsythe and Lesley Rotchford (Rodale Books, $21.99)