My pantry

Personal torture and Pork chops with Fennel and Plums

February 16, 2015

pork chops

I have this fabulous new trainer whom I see once a month or so. He’s been writing me these awesome programs and making me stronger than The Hulk but I’m always very honest about where my fitness regime is let down.


And icecream.

Often together.

Often daily.

Like, more than often.

Just daily.

I made a really ridonkulous promise to him to just try no booze and no ice-cream for 4 weeks to see if it makes any interesting changes to my body, aside form my liver potentially coming home after its extended vacay since it packed up and ran away before Christmas.

I’m not going to diet, as my food intake it fine, but I’m grabbing all these extra calories in alcohol and Coinneuseur flavoured carbs. Four weeks straight is just never going to happen to I negotiated myself a deal. Sunday -Friday is nothing but water, friday night I can have 2 glasses of wine, and Saturday is all mine to mistreat however I please.

It’s a fair deal.

Let me tell how it’s going….


Sunday to Friday come 5pm I’m certain my neighbours would feel they live next to a fishmongers. I’m shouty, and impatient, with so many edges that just a little tipple would smooth.

But I made a deal.

I’m ok on the ice-cream, I think eating it every day was a habit that I have now broken, but the wine? My friend, my lovely, loving pale golden friends whose sweet arms embrace me and sooth the days stresses away, oh how I miss thee.

I’m three weeks in. Over half way.

No dramatic or interesting body changes, but I’ll stick it out in the name of scientific experiments and see how we go. If it makes no difference I can happily go back to my wicked ways.

This is a meal I made to keep my trainer and my tummy happy, because it’s got the perfect mix of protein and good carbs, vegetables and of course, the most important thing – FLAVOUR.

roast fennel, sweet potato and plum

Pork Chops with Fennel and Plums

What you will need –

  • 4 pork chops
  • 1/4 cup vin cotto
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 large Spanish onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 medium fennel, cut into wedges
  • 6 plums, halved and deseeded
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into medium pieces
  • 2 large sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • one head of cauliflower for serving as mash
  • a dollop of natural yoghurt for mash

What you will need to do – 

Preheat oven to 200C.

Remove the skin from your pork chop, and you can either discard (shock horror) or you can sprinkle generously with salt and put int into the oven until it’s delicious crackling. One guess which one I did.

Put your chops into a dish for marinating. Melt your butter and stir in the mustard and vin cotto. Pour over the pork chops, and add your thyme, and season well.

Throw your fennel, onion, sweet potato and plums into a tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and season generously. Pull your rosemary off the stalk and sprinkle over vegetables and give it all a good shimmy.

Stick it into the oven for 30 mins, turning once. Keep an eye on your crackling if you’re a piggy who didn’t throw it out. Don’t let it burn.

Chop your whole cauliflower and steam it until tender.

Pull your vegetables out, and place your pork on top, pour the marinade over the whole lot and stick it back into the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove your cauliflower form the heat, stick in a bowl and either mash with your yoghurt or use a stick blender like me to get it creamy and smooth. Season well.

Pull out your pig, and serve it all together.

 pork chops with fennel and plums



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  • Reply San February 16, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    LURVE the recipe Girlfriend, kinyum as usual. Have you tried cooking with wine. I do that a LOT, hell, sometimes it even ends up in the food!! (that’s rare to be honest) I so admire you for giving it a go, it sure ain’t easy, I know, I tried and failed, the real world’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there! ya’ know what I’m sayin’ ;O)

  • Reply San February 16, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    In saying so, I do not condone the use of alchohol OR drugs in order to NOT be a part of this life in the here and now. I don’t want to be misread or misunderstood . I’m trying to take a look at the ‘light side’ of life and like ALL life’s experiences it’s the tough stuff that takes the hard work… be it love, friendships, family, kids, elderly puppies, to the not enjoying the hard earned pleasure of a glass of your fave vino at the end of an impossible day. It’s the hand life deals us on a daily basis and how ya’ deal with the tuff stuff that really matters. Hi, I’m San and I’m a BTDT semi= alokowholik who LURVES to cook with wine ;O)
    PS. Drive responsibly.

    • Reply Danielle February 17, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Ha, did you second guess yourself. Love nuts, you’re irreverent and take life at face bloody value. That’s why you and I (and that other bird) connect like we do.
      Your post script made me laugh. I’ve never spilt a drop 😉

  • Reply San February 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    BRILLIANT COMEBACK HUNNY lol !!!! Cornering can be awkward no???? ;O)

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