Single White Meals : Chilli, Lemon & Thyme Pork Cutlets with Dutch Carrots and Baby Yellow Squash
A lot of my friends moan to me about how they don’t like to cook dinner when they get home because it’s too cumbersome to cook a good meal for one (all the Single Ladies – put yours hands up, etc) and to that I say Hogwash. Well, not literally, because I’m pretty sure no one has said the word ‘hogwash’ since 1943, but you get the point..
So, when last night a mate told me he was getting Pizza for dinner for the seventeenth night in a row, I set myself a little cellular mealtime challenge – I decided the liveblog via cell phone how long it would take to make a nutritious and low-fat meal for one that was not just tasty but sufficiently worth the effort.
Pork Cutlets, by the way, are pretty much my new favourite meat to cook, ever. To think, for the first 29 years of my life I thought that the only good thing about Pork was that you could use it for Crackle and for scaring Jews, but this year I’ve discovered a whole new world of Pork. That kind of sounds like a porno version of Aladdin, but you know what I mean. But for real real, Pork Cutlets are so thick and tender and juicy – totally amazing for eating and stuff.
Anyways, according to my mobile phone, the below recipe took 13 minutes from fridge to plate, which is not bad all things considered. Especially since you could gut that down to 9 minutes if you picked a vegetable other than Dutch Carrots, since they are a bey-atch and a half to peel (Broccollini or Green Beans are good substitutes as far as time saved, nutritional benefits and also important things like complimentary colouring).
1 x 250g Pork Cutlet
1 x Bunch of Dutch Carrots
2 x Yellow Squash
1 x Lemon
3 x Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 x Teaspoon of Chilli Paste (I normally do 2, but I like things hot). Freshly chopped Chilli would be even better if you have the time.
1 x Tablespoon of Thyme
1 x Teaspoon of Olive Oil
1 x Bottle of Vodka (for company)
So, starting from opening the fridge, this should take no more than 13 minutes tops to cook and plate up. That’s including the fact that I was chugging Vodka and trying to take random photos with my phone along the way. Excuse the low-res photo’s but my phone is old school Yo.
Step One – Open up a bottle of Vodka. Pour over ice. Get your Winehouse on accordingly throughout the rest of the steps.
Step Two – Juice Lemon, stir in Thyme, Olive Oil, Garlic and Chilli.
Step Three – Heat Olive Oil up in a pan on a high heat, add Pork. Cover with a couple of spoonfuls of the Lemon Chilli mixture thingamie. This is otherwise known as ‘Marinating for Working Girls’. Based on a 250g piece of Pork, you’d want it cooked for 4 minutes each side to keep it cooked but juciy.
Step Four – Wash and peel the carrots. Chop off the stems leaving about an inch on. Really you can leave as much or as little as you like, it just looks super cute this way. And vegetables, much like people, are tastier when they look good.
Step Five – Chop the squash into 8ths diagonally. Add all vegetables in a bowl and cover with cling wrap as above. Put in microwave and cook on high for 4 minutes (or 4:20 if you have super thick carrots like mine).
Step Six – Turn over Pork in pan and cook for another 4 minutes. Pour a couple more spoonfuls of Lemon Chilli mixture on it. Ideally, about 2/3 to 2/4’s of it will go over the meat whilst cooking. Stops it drying out, soaks in really well and, I’m not going to lie – the single best part of this is scratching all the chunks of dried Lemon, Chilli, Garlic and Thyme mixture off the bottom of the pan and eating it ala Cougar Town. It’ll change your life. Or, failing that, your waistline.
Step Seven – Remove vegetables from the microwave. Dutch Carrots are great to arrange in geometrical shapes. Last night, I decided to make a fan and scatter the squash accordingly. This doesn’t make me a weirdo (it just makes me a weirdo).
Step Eight – Pork up the plate, spoon the remaining Lemon mixture on it and you’re good to go. This whole thing should have taken 13 minutes tops and you should end up with something like this :-
Not the best photo, granted, but not bad for a mid-week meal after a long day at the work and gym. So yeah – ENJOY!
(If you remove the Chilli and the Thyme, that Lemon and Garlic mixture done with some Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper is pretty much the single best 30 second vegetable dressing you can make in the history of mankind. SUPER tasty. Plus, going into Cold and Flu season, it’s somewhat of a Vitamin C Godsend..)
** I had a bit of a Ready, Steady, Cook moment the following night with the remaining Pork Cutlet, a Lemon, an Apple and some Cherry Tomatoes (aka pretty much the entire remaining contents of my Fridge) and it was one of the single tastiest things I’ve ever made, ever. Grilling Apple? AMAZING.