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When I attended a discussion with the Barefoot Contessa a few months ago, one thing she said really struck a chord with me (and many others). She said that no one will appreciate the fact that you spent all day making a complicated meal, so why bother? You'll just be resentful.
I totally agree with that sentiment, and in that spirit, I made my husband and son a simple summer meal that they raved about. I had a package of boneless center loin pork chops in the freezer that I picked up when the grocery store had them on sale for $1.99 a pound.
I mixed 2 Tbsp. each onion powder, garlic powder and Penzey's Spices Galena Street Chicken and Rib Rub and rubbed the spice mix on the pork chops. After heating a skillet with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, I cooked the chops for about 7 minutes, flipped them over for another 5 minutes or so until done. (Be careful not to overcook them or they will dry out.)
Earlier in the day I made Ina Garten's Tarragon Potato Salad, which is a family favorite. The recipe came from her book How Easy is That? and is really so tasty, you will never make potato salad any other way again.
Tarragon Potato Salad
2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes (6 to 8 potatoes)
1 cup good mayonnaise
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons tarragon or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped scallions, white and green parts
3 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover them. Add 1 tablespoon of salt, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes, just until tender when pierced with a small knife or skewer. Drain in a colander. Put a kitchen towel over the colander and allow the potatoes to steam for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and slice 1/2 inch thick. Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper. While the potatoes are still warm, pour the dressing over the potatoes and toss well. Add the scallions, red onion, tarragon, and dill and toss gently. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to develop. Sprinkle with salt and serve at room temperature.
Add a fruit salad and you've got an easy, delicious dinner.
The link for my post on Ina Garten's discussion at the Providence Performing Arts Center is here.
If you have a favorite Barefoot Contessa recipe, I'd love to hear about it on comments.