Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Driveway and Pork Chops with Cilantro Paste

Phase I of TBHITW and The Good Cook move to the country:

We have a driveway:

Looking up the driveway, toward our eventual home site

TBHITW and I spent yesterday driving up to our land and inspecting the newly installed driveway on our property. Who knew a driveway could be so exciting? It is beautiful. It brings us one step closer to living our dream of life on a small farm.

Looking down the driveway, toward the road

The meadow is in bloom, it is full of wildflowers and clover  and other stuff that grows in a unmowed meadow- and my Pumpkin Patch is growing!

There is always a slight breeze blowing through the meadow. We are dreaming of many years of gentle breezes to cool us.

Pork Chops with Cilantro Pesto: serves 4

Cilantro is growing everywhere right now. Fresh and vibrant green it will add a little kick to anything you chop it into.

4 boneless center cut pork chops, patted dry with paper towels.
4 strips bacon
4 toothpicks
2 cups cilantro (thin, tender stems included)
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1/2 a lime
pinch of salt, grind of pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
olive oil

Pat the pork chops dry using paper towels. Wrap each chop with a piece of bacon (this is called larding) and secure with a toothpick.

Place cilantro, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper in the bowl of your food processor. Process until finely minced. With motor running, add lime juice and drizzle enough olive oil into mixture until a loose paste forms.

Paint both sides of chops with cilantro paste. Grill or bake at 350 until internal temp reaches 150 degrees F. and the bacon is crisp (about 30 minutes for mine, but cooking time will depend on thickness of chops)

A Cook's Notes: The cilantro paste is also delicious on shrimp, chicken or painted on fresh ears of corn which are then grilled. Oh and cilantro toasts are fabulous appetizers! Just smear on lightly toasted baguette slices. Amazing...


  1. I think driveways can be VERY exciting! Especially when they're leading toward a dream.

  2. You'll really love the driveway in the winter when you need it!

  3. Kate - of course you are right! I didn't look at it that way.

    Buffalo - by the time we move there I'm hoping we have no where to go and all day to get there on a snow day.

  4. I love that driveway!

  5. I would be excited about the driveway-it makes it easier to reach your future.

    This recipe looks fabulous. I love cilantro and have already made plans with a girlfriend to try this one out!

  6. I want a farm. And a meadow. And those pork chops.

  7. M - me too!

    Whitney - Let me know how you all like the recipe!

    Mama Grits - you can come visit anytime - we even have a swimin' hole!

  8. I am not a huge pesto fan and frankly, it never occured to me to try cilantro instead. I LOVE cilantro with my every fiber! What a FABULOUS idea this is and may I say, I am working hard not to envy you madly over that property!!!!!!!! Breathtaking setting and congrats on the driveway that will lead you home! :)

  9. Whispering - everything is so beautiful at this time of year.

    Robynn - In my kitchen I am all about the substitutions. Life is too short to eat something you don't adore. The property is part of a very long dream....

  10. Best driveway yet!


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