June 4, 2013 by caitlinvaclark
Somehow over the last 48 hours I came down with one of those horrible bone-aching feverish colds that you only expect in the dead of winter. It felt like a porcupine had moved into my throat and a woodblock player (eh? anyone see the new Arrested Development yet?) was playing behind my eyes. I’ve had two very cloudy days and sleepless nights. But I’m starting to feel better and might even make it to the store today so we can eat something besides chicken noodle soup for dinner.
Last week, back when I was part of the living and enjoying life, I had a perfect dinner and movie night. I watched Behind the Candelabra, a film adapted from the tell-all book of the same name by Scott Thorson. It’s the story of Liberace’s relationship with his “driver” during the later years of his life. Michael Douglas was incredible as Liberace and Matt Damon certainly played the role of late 70s eye-candy well, with Farrah Fawcett hair and all. I quickly realized that I didn’t actually know all that much about Liberace’s life, so I started reading up on him (okay, I read a wikipedia page). It turns out that Thorson was actually only 17 years old when he moved in with Liberace. I mean they made Matt Damon look young, but maybe not that young. I was also baffled to learn the extent to which Liberace denied and hid his homosexuality. During his lifetime, he sued anyone who tried to out him. The movie itself is entertaining, but the reality quite sad.
And spoiler alert: at the end of the film, the screen flashes: “Scott Thorson currently resides in Reno, NV.” But in my “research,” I learned that it turns out he is actually in prison there for burglary and identity theft. Then, while I was up at 4 in the morning with this nightmare of a cold, I was reading random internet gossip and found out that Dennis Hof, owner the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, actually has posted the bond for Scott this weekend after some of his “employees” saw the film and begged Hof to help out. I guess you win some you lose some. Just hope the legal prostitutes weren’t disappointed when a haggard 50-somthing showed up at the ranch instead of a hot Matt Damon lookalike.
While I was watching the movie, I dined on this delicious summery salad version of pork and cabbage. It’s the perfect quick dinner, whether you are firing up the grill or sitting inside watching a movie.
Since the cabbage is raw, I tried to very thinly slice it. The goal is to have it wilt ever so slightly when you add the warm bacon vinaigrette.
Add julienned apples. Personally, I like the sour bite of granny smiths. I also used very thinly sliced raw onions in the salad, but if you are someone who finds the raw bite of onion overwhelming, feel free to sauté or grill them for a few minutes to take the edge off.
Right before you are ready to serve, make your warm bacon vinaigrette by crisping up bacon. Depending on how much fat cooks off, you may need to add a bit of olive oil or drain off some bacon fat, until you have about 3 Tbs of fat in the pan. Then whisk with cider vinegar and wholegrain mustard.
Pour over the cabbage salad and serve with grilled pork chops.
Pork Chops with Cabbage & Apple Salad
4 thin cut pork chops
1 Tbs. steak seasoning
1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
2 granny smith apples, julienned
½ onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
2 Tbs. whole grain mustard
3 Tbs. cider vinegar
Additional olive oil if necessary
Season the pork chops with steak seasoning and salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes while heating the grill pan and mixing the salad.
Toss the cabbage, apples, and onion with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill the pork chops for about 2 minutes per side. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
In a sauté pan, crisp up the bacon. Once the bacon is cooked be sure that there is about 3 tablespoons of fat in the pan. Either remove any excess or add olive oil until you have 3 tablespoons. On low heat, add the mustard and vinegar. Simmer for 3 minutes.
Divide the salad between four plates, top with a pork chop and drizzle with warm vinaigrette.