Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lunch Week 39: Pork Chops and Pasta in Champagne Dressing

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Pork Chops and Pasta in Champagne Dressing
I was pressed for time this weekend. I was helping out in the kitchen for a large fancy Parsi party and I went to the Giants game on Sunday. I didn't know when I would have time to cook something. And I wasn't ready to go eat lunch out every day. So I quickly whipped up some food making use of ingredients that sat in my fridge and freezer.

First, the butternut squash. I didn't have this already but really wanted to eat it. So we bought 2 and I peeled it then sliced it up into cubes. Into the oven at 375oF for about 45 minutes until soft. Don't forget the salt, pepper, and oil. The results are sweet and juicy pieces of squash. Delicious!

To counter the sweetness, I sliced up some fennel/anise which has a natural licorice flavor. However, I sauteed it until soft and most of the harsh flavor disappears. Instead, I'm left with tender savory pieces of vegetables. It paired nicely with the squash.

And for protein, I took some pork chops, sliced it into small pieces and sauteed them with white wine. I cooked them until well done and placed it aside.
Lastly, I cooked some bowtie pasta until slightly under al dente. I wanted to make sure it would retain it's bite after microwaving it during the week. Once cooked to my desire and drained, I tossed it with Girard's Champagne dressing (thanks Feisty Foodie!). It was tangy but not harsh. I really enjoyed the flavor. I could put this in my rotation for the future. I could definitely use this to marinate meat. Anyway, the pasta absorbed the dressing really nicely.
Lastly, I tossed everything together except for the butternut squash. That was too soft so I just place it on top of the dish at the end. I also threw in some salad greens for good measure. The dish needed some color anyway.
When I plate the dish, I added more fresh salad greens on the bottom then ladled the pasta and pork mixture on. I topped it with pieces of the butternut squash and some parsley.
The dish is okay and would do in a pinch. I wouldn't say it was very good. It was fine and did what it needed when I was pressed for time. I was satisfied.


  1. CT made butternut squash "fries" last night. yum yum!

    i have always been scared to cook squash, but it is so easy and CHEAP!

  2. @TT: Start with roasting squash. So easy and tasty! Once you get a handle on the texture and what not, then you can experiment.

  3. And healthy! Approx 60 cal. per cup and full of vitamins, fiber and other goodies. I'm newly addicted to the stuff. Just really hard to cut.

    Looks like a pretty good lunch! I was just researching cooking pork chops and some kind of squash side dish for this weekend!

  4. Ooh, you tried the dressing! Glad it's tasty, I don't think I tried it... hahaha. Sounds good, even if you were just meh on the lunch, better than having nothing and having to go out !

  5. @FF: I liked that it wasn't too tart.

  6. I want some butternut squash and pasta. Sounds like a tasty lunch.


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