I love leeks. I don't think there is another food smell that evokes visions of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fall, Spring, Winter... I love it when I open the car trunk after buying them at the store and get hit with that blast of fresh leeks. Gorgeous. And then cooking them? Fughettaboutit! It's a single word for me: Comfort.
For The Bodyguard? Well... we should pity him because he has told me the foods that he doesn't care for (beets, onions) but I seem to keep putting them in front of him and saying "Well, try it. If you don't like it, no harm, no foul." It's not very nice of me. On the other hand, he has yet to say: "I won't eat this again" and he is constantly surprised by how tasty some things are... so, maybe I'm not such a shrew after all.
Which brings us to that skillet full of leeks up there. The Bodyguard did not know leeks. What he did know is that they looked like giant green onions and he knows he does not like green onions, therefore he will likely not like leeks. uh huh. Step aside, Bam Bam. Let the Tart work her majik.
One thing I know he never says "no" to is pig products. We established earlier that we are a bacon-lovin' household... well, we are really a pork-lovin' joint. So, to balance out the shock and horror of a skillet full of seemingly genetically-modified-for-giants scallions, I offered pork chops... AND bacon. See how it works? Push-pull, push-pull.
Would you say no to this?
He didn't either! ;)
Pork Chops with Leeks in Mustard Sauce
Adapted from Epicurious.com
4 thick pork chops
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 3 large)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup créme fraîche or sour cream
Pat chops dry with paper towels. Mix 2 teaspoons coarse salt, thyme, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Sprinkle seasoning mixture on both sides of chops. Let stand at room temperature 1 to 2 hours or wrap and chill up to 1 day.
Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and sauté until crisp and lightly browned. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to small bowl. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chops to skillet. Sear until brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to small baking sheet.
Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Add leeks and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add brandy, then broth and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Return bacon to skillet; add sage and stir to blend. Nestle chops in leeks in skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer 3 minutes. Turn chops over. Cover; simmer until thermometer inserted into thickest part of chops registers 140°F to 145°F, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chops to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm.
Back in the skillet -- turn up the heat and boil until all liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, and then whisk in mustard, then crème fraîche or sour cream (do not boil). Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over chops.