Lately I’ve been striving to get out of my comfort zone with cooking. Generally when I try out new recipes, I’ll get to the end and realize just how similar it is something else I whipped up a few weeks prior. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make it hard to distinguish really good dishes.
Last night I decided to cook with something I don’t use much of — pork. I was torn between cilantro lime pork chops (in part because the blogger mentioned good ol’ South Dakota (!!!) and also because I have a bunch of cilantro I feel like I should use up) and honey and spice-glazed pork chops. Given my recent experience with the strong (not bad, mind you) chili lime pasta salad, I thought my taste buds deserved something different and went with the latter.
And boy am I glad I did!
Something about the glaze pops and I will undoubtedly make it again, which is big considering I’m normally not all that jazzed about pork. I did throw in a dash of teriyaki sauce into the glaze since I wasn’t sure I would like that much honey. I’m not sure if that made a huge difference, but regardless the end result was fabulous. (And I need to learn to start beating chicken and pork before I place them in the skillet. It always manages to throw off my cooking time and I have to cut the meat in half just to make sure it cooks thoroughly).
I paired the pork chops with fresh green beans since I love all greens. (Although how bad is it that I actually had to google how to cook fresh beans? In my defense, my dad usually used a steamer, so I never had to actually cook them.) Wanting to add a bit more zest to it, I found a simple recipe to generate some ideas from – although no way was I going to use a stick of butter. I (willingly) put in sautéed onions and also used lemon juice, since I love it on broccoli, asparagus and zucchini. I have to admit it wasn’t as great as steamed green beans, but I don’t foresee myself making an investment in a steamer anytime soon.
I’ve also decided that instead of roasting red potatoes, I’m sticking to sweet potatoes. I gave it a shot last weekend just for the heck of it and it’s definitely become my potato of choice. I think in large part it’s because it has so much more flavor, even though I use far less seasoning on it. Red potatoes taste bland and somewhat starchy to me, so I feel like I go overboard on seasonings. With sweet potatoes, I just need a dash of salt and pepper and that’s it. It’s fabulous.
The recipes may not be too outside of my comfort zone, but it was some good home cooking if I do say so myself!