Better Than Shake-N-Bake

The Pig

In England once there lived a big
And wonderfully clever pig.
To everybody it was plain
That Piggy had a massive brain.
He worked out sums inside his head,
There was no book he hadn't read.
He knew what made an airplane fly,
He knew how engines worked and why.
He knew all this, but in the end
One question drove him round the bend:
He simply couldn't puzzle out
What LIFE was really all about.
What was the reason for his birth?
Why was he placed upon this earth?
His giant brain went round and round.
Alas, no answer could be found.
Till suddenly one wondrous night.
All in a flash he saw the light.
He jumped up like a ballet dancer
And yelled, "By gum, I've got the answer!"
"They want my bacon slice by slice
"To sell at a tremendous price!
"They want my tender juicy chops
"To put in all the butcher's shops!
"They want my pork to make a roast"
And that's the part'll cost the most!"
They want my sausages in strings!
"They even want my chitterlings!
"The butcher's shop! The carving knife!
"That is the reason for my life!"
Such thoughts as these are not designed
To give a pig great piece of mind.
Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland,
A pail of pigswill in his hand,
And piggy with a mighty roar,
Bashes the farmer to the floor…
Now comes the rather grizzly bit
So let's not make too much of it,
Except that you must understand
That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland,
He ate him up from head to toe,
Chewing the pieces nice and slow.
It took an hour to reach the feet,
Because there was so much to eat,
And when he finished, Pig, of course,
Felt absolutely no remorse.
Slowly he scratched his brainy head
And with a little smile he said,
"I had a fairly powerful hunch
"That he might have me for his lunch.
"And so, because I feared the worst,
"I thought I'd better eat him first."

The Pig by Roald Dahl

The only reason I thought of this poem, other than I love Roald Dahl's dark humor, is that a couple years ago at work, a co-worker said that some scientist hypothesized that if we were cooked and eaten??, we would probably in all likelihood taste like pigs. Well, I guess that's food for thought. Ba-dum-bum-CHING. I was glad that we wouldn't taste like chicken... how bland!

Pork Chop Milanese: (Mario Batali's Babbo Cookbook)
serves 4

4 center-cut pork chops, 1 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh bread crumbs, lightly toasted
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Remove the bones from the pork chops. Using a meat mallet, carefully pound the pork chops until they are uniformly 1/4 inch thick. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Dip each chop into the beaten eggs, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge each chop in the bread crumbs and set on a plate. In a 14- to 16-inch sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat until just smoking. Add the butter and allow it to foam for 10 to 15 seconds. Place the chops in the pan and cook until light golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, carefully turn the chops and cook on the other side until light golden brown, about 5 more minutes. Add more oil if necessary, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, to avoid scorching the breading.

Note: There is an accompanying recipe for arugula and teardrop tomatoes type salad with this. But I didn't make it. Instead I made a roasted tomato, onion, and garlic sauce to go with it.

Roasted Tomato Sauce:

8 Roma tomatoes, cut in half
1 yellow onions, cut into quarters
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

In a bowl, coat vegetables with olive oil, between a 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Add salt and pepper. Place mixture into a baking dish and place into a 300 degree oven. Let roast, mixing occasionally for an hour and a half to two hours. Then place mixture into a blender and pulse until smooth. You might need to drizzle some more olive oil into the mixture. And Also!!!! don't forget to take off the lid of the blender and place a towel over the top before you hit that pulse switch. We don't want ant explosions, do we?

Tasting Notes: I'm glad I got to the pig before he ate me! Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. The fat just melted in my mouth. Much better than Shake-N-Bake. Squeeze a little lemon on your pork chop before eating and it will just elevate this dish to most awesomest thing ever!


Anonymous said...

And Mario does it again, I love it. Love the poem too. I love a crispy pork dish.

MrOrph said...

Great poem!

I really like the addition of the sauce.

Krysta, you've done it again!

Anonymous said...

There is a reason that humans are refered to as long pig among recently canabalistic societies.

The pig is dangerous because as with humans they eat anything and will quite happily dispose of a human if they can knock her down. They are also very bright.

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

If I didn't have 15 things to make today for my son's birthday party tomorrow these would be on my menu.

Back to the kitchen with me....

Anonymous said...

We don't eat nearly enough pork chops, looks crispy! And delicious!

Kristin @ Going Country said...

We don't have much of the pig left that we got last fall, so no more pork for me. I'll just have to console myself with lamb.

Also, when my husband was small, he would feed the hogs at his grandfather's farm, and grandpa always told him to keep moving, because if he fell down, they might take a chunk out of him. Seriously. And this is why I refuse to have pigs around here.

Stacey Snacks said...

You know I love this recipe, done with veal cutlets.

I don't want to taste like pork, maybe a juicy rib eye with the bone, of course.
It's too early for me to think of people tasting like food!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This looks amazing! Love me some Mario!

And the poem rocks!

Jennifer said...

That looks yummy! *they still make that shake and bake stuff?*

michael, claudia and sierra said...

i love it when you cook batali...
hey have you caught the 'on the road again' series on pbs? it is beyond horrific... i mean OH MY GOD?

why is no one talking about this?

Anonymous said...

ceF - because it is sooo horrid, it renders us speechless

Anonymous said...

Krysta- That is amazing! (The Dahl AND the Batali.)

Is On the Road that abomination with Gwyneth Paltro and Batali? What have they done to that grand Falstaff? Am I alone in thinking Gwyneth Paltro is, er, not great?

Anonymous said...

I have pork chops defrosted for dinner tonight and wasn't sure what to do - thanks!!!

Melissa said...

Ah Gwyneth, so easy to hate.

I can imagine the little crunch of biting into that thing. And making the sauce instead of the salad was a good idea.

The poem is priceless. Roald Dahl was wacky cool though.

Snooty Primadona said...

Oh, I adored the *dark* pig poem! We are true pork hounds at our house, lol.

Beautiful recipe... cannot wait to try it.

Deeba PAB said...

Great poem & yum recipe...

Anonymous said...

Dark humour indeed! Love it!

Mmm, going to the farmers market today and I think I shall pick up some chops.

Humble Abode said...

that looks delicious! yum!

grace said...

the only thing floating around in my head right now is "it's shake-and-bake, and i helped!" great poem, great pig. :)

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this recipe through Gojee and keep making it over and over. When I stopped using Gojee, I was desperate to find the recipe! After pondering only a few minutes, I thought...Oh yeah - evil chef mom. What a great name and a great blog. Thanks for posting from a grandmother.