It's funny how some meals come together. Just after breakfast I was aware that we didn't have any vegetables in the house or anything that could actually turn into a meal. So I started to think about a shopping list.
I saw that what we did have in the freezer was a couple of pork chops, which made me think of Heather's amazing Foodbuzz meal to celebrate Black History Month. She talked about braising pork chops in tomato gravy for 3 hours. I thought that sounded pretty good.
And with that, wheels were set in motion for a Southern extravaganza. Smothered pork chops, cornmeal biscuits and some form of green vegetable, I decided. I found this recipe for the pork chops which had the virtues of being simple and not containing any of the weird processed shit that turns up in a lot of American recipes on t'internet. I figured I would be able to buy some form of collard-substitute (ended up being curly kale). And then Waitrose surprised me with some fresh okra (my mother can now cross me cooking okra off her list of things she never thought she'd live to see).
I cut the rinds and excess fat off the pork chops. And just before you congratulate me for being health-conscious - I then cut the rind into small pieces and rendered them down into cracklins to add to my biscuits, and used the rendered out lard to start my kale in.
I realised at about this point that my shopping list had neglected to mention eggs. So I followed this recipe for Thai crispy fried okra, which doesn't use eggs in the batter. I added some of the seasoning mix from the pork chops to the batter to help the flavours flow.
And I may never cook pork chops any other way. Tender, flavoursome and very straightforward to make. My okra cooking needs some work though. I will have to keep trying.