Few foods can be as comforting as down-home cooking that uses ingredients pulled straight from a backyard garden or a local farm. Simple, delicious flavors are often the crux of country cooking.
While fried chicken, grits and leafy green vegetables are hallmarks of country cooking, particularly in the southern region of the United States, many different ingredients can be used to create country-inspired meals.
Pork is a mainstay of many country dinner tables. This recipe for Pork Chops with Butter Bean Salad from “Real Simple Dinner Tonight: Done!” (Time Home Entertainment) by Allie Lewis Clapp and Lygeia Grace is a great representation of a simple, yet tasty meal.
Pork Chops with Butter Bean Salad
1 slice sandwich bread, torn into pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 scallions, sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 boneless pork chops (1 inch thick; about 1.5 pounds total)
1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed and leaves thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1 14-ounce can butter beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Heat oven to 400 F. In a food processor, pulse the bread and 2 tablespoons of the oil to form coarse crumbs. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Toss with the scallions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the pork until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss the spinach and beans with the vinegar, oregano, the remaining tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Top the pork with the bread crumbs mixture. Serve with the salad.