For me, this dinner was more about the dessert than any of the other courses. Looking at some of my older posts, I had seen one where I described making French Silk Chocolate Pie. Ever since then I have been looking forward to making it again. However, the surgery I underwent at the start of the year kept me out of the kitchen until I healed enough to spend the required time standing to make this pie. We also needed a weekend with enough free time to spend making a pie. The day finally arrived, marking another milestone in my recovery, and it was worth waiting for (not that I had a choice).
But before dessert, there's the entreé and the rest of dinner to describe. Because of the time needed to make the pie I chose an easy menu. Perusing my collection of saved recipes, I decided on pan fried pork chops. We enjoy pork chops, hadn't had them in a while, and the recipe looked like it would be pretty easy and not take a lot of time. This turned out to be true as the chops just need to be seasoned, dredged in flour, then fried for about 10 minutes. The finished pork was good, well seasoned with the dominant flavor coming from garlic powder. If you make these you will want to be sure you have fresh garlic powder on hand and not a jar that is so old you can't read the best-by date. The recipe calls for center cut or rib chops. Since I shopped at a supermarket I had to take what shrink-wrapped chops were available and they were called "loin chops", a pretty useless label. It might have been worth taking the extra time and money to get the chops from a butcher to be sure of what I was getting. The chops were a little tough and this may be due to the mystery cut of meat that I started with.
For side dishes I purchased some fresh beets and sweet potatoes. The beets were steamed, the potatoes boiled, and I started cooking them at the same time. Steaming was a good method for cooking the beets. I peeled them after
cooking by rubbing them with paper towels, a method which worked very
well. Unfortunately the potatoes cooked much faster than the beats. Though they were overcooked and quite soft by the time the beets were done, the sweetness of the potatoes complemented the pork nicely. The beets, though fresh, were a little bland probably due to the season. Perhaps a sweeter vegetable, carrots or peas, would have been better, or maybe some homemade applesauce.
Now to the star of the show. The pie was as good as I remember it. It takes some time and patience to make as you spend 20 minutes beating the pudding with a hand mixer while it cooks, but it is worth the time and effort to make every once and a while. The filling is smooth, light, and very chocolatey. I still need more practice making pie crust, though. This one was flaky with a good buttery flavor but a little tough, perhaps I over baked it. I also had trouble removing the weights used when blind baking the crust. I used coins, too may coins it turned out, as their weight was more than the aluminum foil that separated the coins and crust could lift without tearing. As a result, the bottom of the crust got torn as I had to move a gloved hand between the foil and crust to support the weight of the coins. Fortunately, the bulk of the damage was hidden by the filling. I'll just have to try again. And maybe buy some real pie weights.