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A plebeian pair, present at every dinner table, we tend to forget just how much these two do. Here’s a quick meal put together featuring them. I like Penzey’s fancypants four peppercorn blend, and oh my is it tasty.

You’ll need some meat, a grill, salad fixings, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rice, and butter.

  1. Make a little container of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Don’t go hog wild on the pepper. The stuff from Penzey’s I use packs quite a bit of heat.
  2. Take your meat (I like boneless pork chops), and rub it well with the salt and pepper. You want to let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  3. While your meat is resting, get some rice started.
  4. Prep your lettuce (I like to give mine plenty of time to dry). I recommend you not use iceberg, as it’s a little bland for the very simple dressing you’ll be using.
  5. About 5 minutes before the meat is done resting, go turn on your grill.
  6. How long I cook the pork chops depends on their their thickness. I’ll get the grill to about 500, cook them on one side for 3-4 minutes, flip them (3-4 minutes), turn down the heat to about 400 and cook another 4-5 minutes, flip them (4-5 minutes). It works out that toward the middle you’re just turning the heat down. It also gives you a minute to wash your tongs or whatever. Also, don’t eat undercooked pork. If it’s your first time doing this, it doesn’t hurt to check the temperature of the meat. You know, food safety etc. Also, this procedure of letting stuff brown a bit before turning down the heat works for most meats, although if you want a rare steak you need to shave down the cooking times.
  7. Mix in some salt, butter, and pepper with your rice.
  8. Let your meat hang out in a tin foil hat while you deal with the salad. Now, do not dress it until you’re ready to serve, or it’ll get soggy. Splash on a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then add salt and pepper to taste. You might need a bit more salt than you think you do.

My favorite thing about this dinner is it’s fairly simple to get it timed right, with everything ready for the table when the meat is done.