Lately I have been very busy with work, which is great, but being self-employed, it often means I keep very strange hours, without a lot of structure to my day. As a result, my diet gets pretty messed up. Instead of having a work day broken up into 2 breaks and a lunch, I might wake up at 10:00AM one day, work until 4:00 in the morning, then have to get up at 7:00am the next day for a photoshoot, and due to the typical quick turnaround, stay up very lately again editing everything. I always eat breakfast (thank goodness!), but without structured breaks in my day, I might go 8 hours before realizing I haven’t ate anything substantial, which is BAD!
This past week, I’ve been focusing on having more structured meal times, and actually taking the time to cook something, instead of making a sandwich, eggs, or *GASP* toast with peanut butter and jam (I eat this way more than I would like to admit…it has become an addiction since I’ve started making my own sourdough bread). Even though I have been cooking regularly this week, I hadn’t taken the time to do anything for the blog, so after re-stocking my fridge with groceries, I was motivated to whip something up!
Along with some inspiration from my grocery purchases, Saskatoon’s cold, snowy weather has arrived, which means one thing when it comes to eating: COMFORT. With that in mind, I went about creating a meal I had envisioned. Simple, rustic flavours were the name of the game, and I’m very happy with how it all came together!
Pan Roasted Pork Chop on Potato, Kale, & Broccoli with Pan Gravy
- 1 pork chop
- 6-8 baby potatoes halved
- 2 leaves of kale chopped
- 2 large pieces of broccoli chopped
- 3 sundried tomatoes chopped
- 1 inch slice of red onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 pinch of minced habanero pepper or anything to add a hint of heat
- Pinch of thyme
- Pinch of sage
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 cup stock/broth
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- In a large pan (preferably heavy cast iron), add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and bring to medium-high heat. Once heated, add the pork chop on one side, and your halved baby potatoes on the other. Season everything with salt and pepper.
- Once pork chop has a good sear on the one side (after about 5-7 minutes), flip it and cook until done (a couple more minutes - or until it reaches and internal temperature of 150F).
- Remove pork chop from pan and let rest.
- While pork chop is resting, add the broccoli, along with the red onion, garlic, and habanero pepper and an extra drizzle of olive oil, roasting for about 5 minutes, until broccoli and potatoes start to brown.
- Once browned, add in your kale, a pinch of thyme, and pinch of sage. Mix to combine, then add about a 1/2 cup of stock. Cook until stock has absorbed.
- Remove potatoes and vegetables from pan.
- Add a tablespoon of butter, and tablespoon of flour, mixing together. Once flour has absorbed into the butter, and is bubbling, add about a 1/2 cup of stock, mixing until thickened. Add more stock if pan gravy becomes too thick, or cook longer if gravy is too thin.
- Serve pork with vegetables and pan gravy.
Along with playing around with dish ideas, I got to test out a new backdrop I made, as well as a new light modifier for a recent LED light I purchased. Typically I will position the light for most of my food photos to the side, or at the front and to the side, but I decided to switch it up here and test out some backlighting. Along with the meal, I’m very pleased with how the photos turned out! Although I didn’t do much propping here, I just wanted to test out a couple different styles of lighting, and enjoyed the slightly different look achieved by lighting from behind the dish.
Given that a lot of people struggle with food photos when it gets dark out, and the majority of my photos are done in my basement, in the dark (with artificial light), I thought sharing some behind the scenes info on how I light everything might be fun! What do you guys think? If you’re interested, I’ll start taking some pictures of my light set-up with each photo. If that’s something you’d like to see, leave a comment!