This preparation makes a great mid-day meal. The cantaloupe, watercress, and jicama work together nicely to contrast the mild flavor and firmness of the chilled meat. Roasted cumin seeds in the vinaigrette add an exotic flavor that pushes this combination over the top. Peaches, plums, figs, and apples could work nicely in place of the cantaloupe, and if you prefer something with less bite, try mâche or Boston lettuce instead of watercress. Also, it's a great way to use leftover pork. Lamb or beef work well here too.
4 teaspoons cumin seeds,
toasted and coarsely ground
4-1/2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup walnut oil
Salt and pepper
2 thick-cut boneless pork chops
(or pork loin)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 red onion, julienned
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups watercress, stemmed
2 cups julienned cantaloupe
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup peeled and julienned jicama
To prepare the vinaigrette: Place the cumin and raspberry vinegar in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil and walnut oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the pork: Season the pork with salt and pepper. Place the canola oil in a hot sauté pan over high heat and sear the pork for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the pork has an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Reserve any pan juices and refrigerate the meat for 1 hour, or until completely chilled. Thinly slice the pork and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the onions: Cook the onion in the butter over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until golden and caramelized. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the salad: Toss together the watercress, onions, cantaloupe, walnuts, jicama, and three-quarters of the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place some of the salad in the center of each plate and top with a few of the pork slices. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette and pan juices over the pork and around the plates. Top with freshly ground black pepper.
Wines with melon flavors and full acidity will marry well with the dish. Rieslings from Western Australia such as Leeuwin Estate and Franklin Estate have delicate melon flavors and bright acidity that complement the cumin and stand up to the pork.
The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter
By Charlie Trotter
Ten Speed Press
Publication Date: January 1999
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created April 1999
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