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July 2018 - Full Buck/Blood Moon Pork Chops over Beet & Turnip Greens, Topped with Roasted Beets & Berry Balsamic Sauce

July 28, 2018

Welcome to our July 2018 Moon Meal! I based this meal around the Full Buck Moon, also called the Thunder Moon, and it’s also a Blood Moon because of a pretty stellar lunar eclipse happening right now! I used deep red beets and berries 🍒 in this meal because they’re both in-season (although all the rabbits ate my beets!!), to represent the both reddish hue this eclipse causes the moon to have, and to reflect the hot, hot weather the sun is bringing us this time of year. People used to say that beets are “good for the blood” - I'm not sure how true that claim is, but I thought it tied in nicely. I also wanted to represent the seasonal diet of the White Tail Deer with this meal (this is the time of year when bucks are getting their horns, hence, the full buck moon), and included the berries and some greens for that reason. More on the seasonal diet of white tail here:  http://www.northamericanwhitetail.com/land-management/whitetail-101-what-do-deer-eat/

Additionally, I chose a larger more complex meal this month because I want to encourage people to, at least once a week, create 1 healthy meal, while leaving ourselves plenty of time to cook and actually ENJOY the experience of cooking. I sincerely believe that setting aside a chunk of time to create food for ourselves and our family helps establish a positive relationship with food. So even if meat or this type of meal is not your favorite thing in the world to cook, I encourage everyone to find something you really enjoy making and spend some quality time making that thing each week!
Thanks so much for watching, and as always, Eat Local, Eat Seasonal, Eat Happy Food!!!
* Pork chops from Purdy & Sons, Sherburne NY (purchased from The Locavore, Frankfort NY)
* Blueberries from Herkimer Blueberries
* Grass-fed butter from Kriemhild Farms, Hamilton NY
* Raw honey (Finsters) from Frankfort NY
* Raspberries/Blackberries from the March Homestead, Broadalbin NY
* Turnip Greens and dill from Garden Marosek (mine 😋)
* Pampered Chef grill pan and press bought from Abby Hnydowitz, PC consultant 


✅Pork chop brine:

In a big pot combine:
* 4 cups spring water
* 2/3 cup salt
* 1/3 cup agave or honey
* 8 garlic cloves
* 5 peppercorns
* 2 sprigs of dill
Heat and stir just until salt and agave are dissolved. Add 8 cups ice cubes to cool the brine, and add 4 good-sized pork chops. Cover and place in fridge 1 hour to up to 1 day before cooking.


* Take about 5 beets, cut off the greens, wash with other greens you’re using (I used some turnip greens also), and set the greens aside to dry.
* Peel and slice up beets. Place on a baking tray or in a glass pan. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.
* While the beets are roasting, make the greens:
* Roll up a few greens at a time and chop them up down the roll (creating strips)
* Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil on medium heat in a big pan
* Add 2-3 chopped up garlic cloves and a few red pepper flakes (optional)
* Sautée greens until wilted and tender, about 5-10 minutes.

✅Berry balsamic reduction sauce
(Can be made while beets are roasting or after the greens):

In a medium-sized pot, melt:
* 3 tbsp grass-fed butter and
* 4 tbsp honey
Bring to a boil and boil 1-2 minutes
* 1/2 cup berry purée (I used raspberries, blackberries, cherries, and blueberries)
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
* Pinch of salt
Boil 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until desired thickness

✅Pork chops (cook last)

* Take chops out of brine and pat dry
* Rub with olive oil and black pepper on both sides
* Cook using a grill, the cast iron skillet method or if using a grill pan and press like mine, cook about 2 minutes on each side (for chops about 3/4 of an inch thick). For a great overview on cooking perfect chops, I love this: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-perfect-pork-chops-in-the-oven-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-194257

✅Assemble a plate with the greens, the chop on top of the greens, and top with the beets and sauce. Cheers!



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