Garden Salad With Organic Wild Herbs and Balsamic Vinaigrette and Beer Braised Rosemary and Thyme Pork Chops

Time is just flying by since I moved into my new home a few months ago.  Fall is here and I was worried that I wasn't going to get my fall garden planted in time before the first frost of the season.  But I did.  Not a large garden, mind you...  just 5- Square Foot Garden beds, but just enough fresh organic garden greens for myself and of course, TBRITW (The Best Roomie in The World).  Besides, he did help make the beds... thank goodness.  I couldn't have done it on my own.

Aren't I a lucky girl!!!

Wanna know what I made with the first "pickins"?

Garden Salad with Organic Wild Herbs and
Balsamic Vinaigrette

My Dandelions are loving the cooler weather (finally) in Texas.
They grow much larger up north, who'd a thunk it!

(Something I recently learned from Green Deane at Eat The Weeds. I love this foraging Guru!)

They were popping up all over the yard, so tender Dandelion leaves went into my salad

as well as some 

And of course, some of my dark green YUMMY spinach!

I also tossed in a red pepper, tomatoes, two kinds of lettuce (all from the garden) and caramelized some pecans from my native Texas pecan trees.  I added some fresh goat cheese from the farmer's market and topped it with Balsamic Vinaigrette.   

A Yummy Salad!!

Oh yeah, and the
Beer Braised Rosemary And Thyme Pork Chops
weren't too shabby either!

To Make Balsamic Vinaigrette:

 Combine equal parts of a good Balsamic Vinegar with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and shake well.  That's it. Just make sure to use quality products.  Mine was an 8 year balsamic vinegar.  I can't afford the 15 year anymore.  (smile)

Here's how I prepared the 

Beer Braised Rosemary and Thyme Pork Chops

Tip:  Braising meat in a small amount of liquid makes it very tender.  It's how my grandmother cooked her fried chicken.... and so do I.  (smile)

1/2" cut bonless pork loin chops
1/4 cup beer
4-5" sprigs of fresh "woody" rosemary, left whole
Fresh English thyme, chopped
2-3 T balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 T olive oil

Rinse the pork chops and pat dry.  With a skewer or sharp knife make a slit all the way through each pork chop.  Insert rosemary into the slit.  (I use a metal skewer with an eye on the end.  Insert about 1/2" of the thick end of the rosemary branch into the eye of the skewer and "thread" the skewer all the way through the meat drawing the rosemary through).

Dip meat in beer just to moisten and reserve the remaining beer.  Rub chopped thyme over the meat.  Heat a large iron skillet on high.  Add oil and immediately place meat in hot iron skillet.  Brown both sides to seal in the juices.  (Remember, hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick)  I think I learned that from Jeff Smith.

Turn heat down to med low and add remaining beer.  Cover and cook until meat appears medium pink inside about 15-20 minutes.

Raise heat to med high and add balsamic vinegar.   Do not cover.  Fry until all liquid is evaporated and meat is golden brown.  Juice should run clear.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  

**Be sure to salt at the end of the cooking process, not before.  Salt draws out liquid which results in tough meat.

Now, snuggle next to the fire, put your feet up, and enjoy the best salad and most tender pork chops you've ever eaten.

Don't forget to visit my Recipe Box in Gammy's House Kitchen for other great recipes.
I  add new recipes regularly.

for more homemade staples and canning goods recipes.

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