Goalie and Grilled Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Salad

Did I mention Monkey Girl (my daughter) made goalie for her field hockey team? She plays for St Pius X Catholic School. She has been playing field hockey for years.

My mind wanders back to various seasons in Monkey Girls life… a curious infant reaching out for a dangling earring or necklace, a precocious two year old feeding the ducks at the park. Also a middle schooler at her first real dance, wearing a pretty green dress I purchased at J. C. Penney’s. Flash forward to now, a almost fifteen year old Field hockey player who is furious at her mom and dad because we would not let her stay overnight at a party place that we considered undesirable.

She is a strong, beautiful, confident, friendly and smart 8th grader. I cant help but wonder, am I now experiencing some fruit of my labor, as I have worked hard to be the kind of parent that we should all strive to be?
Nah, It couldn’t be that easy, could it?
“A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.”

Grilled Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Salad
Adapted from Rachel Ray magazine
Coarse salt
 Four 1-inch-thick center-cut bone-in pork chops (about 2 pounds)
 3 sweet potatoes (about 11/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small sweet onion
In a large bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 2 cups cold water. Add the pork chops to the brine and soak in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400.
Meanwhile, Cut up the sweet potato, onion and peppers into bite size pieces.

Toss them in a roasting pan with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast the mixture for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the vegetables are tender.

Don’t you just love my salad dressing emulsifier? I got it at William Somoma. If you look close it  gives you the recipes for most vinaigrette’s.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, jam and mustard. Whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil in a thin stream until smooth.

Remove the chops from the brine, pat dry and brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Reserve 2-3 tablespoons of raspberry vinaigrette for basting chops.

Preheat a grill pan to medium. Sear the chops for 3 minutes on each side, then baste with one-quarter of the raspberry dressing. grill, basting once, for 2 minutes on each side.

In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, bell pepper and scallions with the remaining raspberry dressing; season to taste with salt. Serve each pork chop with some of the sweet-potato salad.