Orange Pepper Pork and Kale

There are many food blogs out there that center on the romance of cooking and that’s great but the typical, average family (even single person) doesn’t have time for meals that take a lot of energy and time to cook.  Let’s face it, between all the things we are “supposed” to do, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, read to your kids, help them with homework, walk the dog twice a day, wash your face before you go to bed, get 8 hours of sleep, drink 2 liters of water, etc, etc, etc, now here I am telling you that we can’t trust our corporate food sources and we should make most everything from scratch?!  IS YOU CRAZY, WOMAN?!  WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?! 

It can be done.  During the week I rarely spend more than 25 minutes putting dinner together and most of them are one pot meals.

Who doesn’t love one pot meals?  There’s nothing like being able to throw together a quick, nutritious meal with minimal dishes.  I think if more people knew how to cook one pot meals, more people would be eating from scratch.

dried orange zest strips, a shake of pepper corn, and a pinch of sea salt

Remember the dried orange zest strips we made?  We are going to use them to make an Orange Pepper rub for thin cut pork chops.  That orange vinegar we made, we are going to use that to steam the kale.  Now go grab you your biggest pan with a lid. 

In your coffee/spice grinder (make sure it’s clean!) add 2-3 strips of dried orange zest, a shake of pepper corn, and a pinch of sea salt.  Grind that up until you have a nice spice blend.  Rub the blend on both sides of thin cut pork chops. Put these aside while you complete the rest of the preparation.

Chop 1-2 garlic cloves, half and slice an onion, and pick about a half head of kale off it’s stem. 

GREENS!  MY LOVE!  I’ve been waiting for you all winter!
Set your biggest pan with a lid over medium high heat.  We want to sear the pork chops and to get a beautiful sear we need a hot pan and warm oil.  Once the pan is hot enough to where water sizzles, add a tablespoon of olive oil and let that warm up.  Place the pork chops in the pot and sear for about a minute each side.  Remove them from the pan and place them on a plate to set aside.
Lower the heat and add the onion and garlic, let those caramelize and then add 1/4 cup of vegetable or pork broth (or wine or beer or water) and scrape up any brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Add a few generous splashes of orange vinegar.  Pack in the kale, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and more generous splashes of orange vinegar (I like vinegar on my greens, so I add a lot of vinegar here), top with seared pork chop, and cover.
You will steam the pork until it is cooked through and the greens are bright and wilted.  Serve with bread or any other carb that you fancy.
Orange Pepper Pork and Kale
Yield:  2 Pork Chops and 2 Servings Kale
Orange Pepper:
2-3 strips orange zest
pinch of sea salt
shake of black pepper
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
half head of kale
1/4 cup vegetable broth (or any liquid)
shakes orange vinegar
  1. In spice grinder grind up orange zest, sea salt, and black pepper.  Rub over both sides of pork chops.
  2. Chop garlic, half and slice onion, and pick kale.
  3. In a pot over medium high heat, sear pork chops over 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Remove pork.
  4. Add onion and garlic and sautee until caramelized.  Deglaze with vegetable broth and a few generous shakes of orange vinegar and cook down by half.  Add in greens, top with salt, pepper, and a few generous shakes of orange vinegar.
  5. Add pork chop on top of kale, cover, and steam until the pork is cooked through – about 10-15 minutes.

Dried Citrus Zest Strips

I was in the grocery store today as there was meat on sale and because I can never go to the grocery store for only one thing, I ran into this in the spice aisle:

SIX DOLLARS AND 50 CENTS?!  SIX DOLLARS AND 50 CENTS for 1.5oz of “California Lemon Peel”?!  Are you kidding me?!  Is this stuff powdered gold?!  And, knowing how corporations like to cut corners, you know that this is not made from Meyer Lemons. 

But wait, it gets better!

FIVE DOLLAR AND 50 CENTS!  FIVE DOLLARS AND 50 CENTS for 1.5oz of “Valencia Orange Peel”  If Lemon Peel is powdered gold then Orange Peel must be powdered copper!

Being from Arizona, my first reaction was to laugh out loud hysterically in the aisle of the grocery store, then I started taking pictures.  I think the Marylanders in the grocery store must of thought I was insane for making such a big deal about dried citrus peel.  I wanted to walk up to random people in the grocery store and yell at them about how they are being ripped off!  haha.

Lets look at the ingredients lists:

To be fair, this is a pretty good ingredients list with only two ingredients but the second ingredient is Sodium Sulfate.  Sodium sulfate is a salt that is mainly used in the manufacture of detergents and paper pulp.

Folks, I’ve got a real easy method for you and you don’t have to break the bank to do it either.  Grab your vegetable peeler, grab the citrus of your choice, and peel the zest right off those citrus (much like the way we did for the limoncello ).  Make sure you limit the amount of pith on the zest as the pith is bitter.  The zest hold all the apparent powdered gold – or powdered copper for that matter.

Lay those peels in a single layer in your dehydrator and check them every 4 hours or so.  Most of my peels dried overnight.  Once they are done drying put them on a plate to cool off.  Once they are completely cooled, place them in a pint jar.  OR, you can lay them on a single layer on a plate or cookie sheet and let them dry at their own pace.

BAM!  Ingredients:  Citrus Peel

You can pulverize them into a powder, place a couple of peels in a grinder with peppercorn and sea salt to use as a spice on chicken or fish, or grab a strip and drop it in your water!