making food from anywhere, with anything

oeufs et asperge

Hello everyone.

Ordinarily, Thursday is the day I plan out the following week’s meals.  Then Friday, I go grocery shopping to pick up any random ingredients or pantry items that I’m low on.

That didn’t happen this week.  I’m not sure why, but I felt myself starting to lose inspiration.  While I waxed lyrical yesterday about how eye-opening Judith Jones’s perspective was, I’m still not really feeling into it.  I took this as a sign: I need to start cooking more challenging dishes.  I noticed one of the local grocery stores sells honeycomb tripe every now and then, so after hitting the gym, I headed there yesterday to get some.  Tripe?  Yes.  Really? Oh yes.  One of the points Judith Jones made was that Americans are too afraid to eat offal and other less common bits of animals.  And why should we be?  Seriously, why?

So, off I walked to the store in hopes of diving into personally uncharted culinary territory.  I had no idea how I would make the tripe if I managed to score some.  I stalled by the vegetables for a bit trying to think up a recipe while picking up a small bunch of asparagus and a small box of juicy, red strawberries; the nice fruits and vegetables that would hold my hand as I walked to the meat section.  Once there, I scoured the meats.  No tripe.  I looked again.  No, still nothing.  What the hell!  I got all in the mood for some tripe only to be disappointed.  sigh–Maybe next time.

The store did, however, have pork sirloin chops on a buy one get one free sale.  So, I now have lots of pork.  Ordinarily, I buy chicken and the occasional beef.  Yes, very boring.  While it’s true I do not like pork chops (I find them tasteless), I want to branch out.  Admittedly, I have no idea what pork sirloin chops are.  I have never seen that labeling before.  However, I’m determined to make pork chops taste good — that is tonight’s mission.

Disheartened after my grocery store fail, I had no idea what to do for dinner yesterday.  I didn’t want meat.  I didn’t even want to cook.  I even toyed with the notion of getting take out from somewhere.  However, I did just buy some asparagus and marscapone cheese….and I did buy eggs a while ago for, well, I don’t remember what.  Sounded like all the fixings for a spring omelet.

asparagus omelet with collard greens and caramelized onions

(As you can see, I’ve yet to master the art of folding an omelet.)  I believe somewhere in this blog, I posted an omelet recipe, so check that out if you don’t know the basics of making an omelet.   When whisking the eggs, I added some marscapone cheese instead of creme fraiche or milk.  I have never used marscapone before, and I’d say it’s got the texture of cream cheese with the taste of ricotta.  It’s quite good, actually.

As for the asparagus and onions, I thought they would taste nice in a balsamic reduction of some sort.  So, I drizzled olive oil into a saute pan, chopped one half of an onion (I had a half laying around in the refrigerator) and sauteed the pieces until caramelized.  Just before the onions turned full-on brown, I added about 5 stalks of chopped asparagus.  You can leave the asparagus raw if you want the crunch.  Then, I added a little bit of balsamic vinegar diluted in some water along with generous amounts of pepper and salt, and let the liquid reduce out.  I also sauteed some collard greens because I need to use what I’ve got before it all goes bad.  When you have your eggs set up in a saute pan, add some of the onion and asparagus mixture to it, and continue with the omelet-making process.

I have some asparagus and onions left over…no idea what I’ll end up doing with it.  They might be nice in a baguette with some cheese.

So, tonight?  Pork.  Good pork.

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