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Introduction

As one of the most prominent British food writers, Sophie Grigson has a string of cookery books to her name including Sophie Grigson’s Herbs, The First Time Cook, and most recently Vegetables. She is a regular writer for the Independent, the Evening Standard, and the Sunday Times.

Method

Method for pork chops

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 325°F/ Gas Mark 3.
  2. Score the chops lightly on both sides, and make small cuts across the fat on the sides to prevent curling.
  3. Cut the clove of garlic in half and over both sides of each chop.
  4. Throw away the used garlic clove.
  5. Brush both sides of each chop with olive oil, then season lightly with salt and pepper.
  6. Make a bed of the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves in an oven-proof dish just large enough to take the pork chops in a single layer.
  7. Scatter over the fennel seeds.
  8. Lay the pork chops on this aromatic bed.
  9. Brown the pork chops lightly under the grill (unless the grill is in you oven, in which case, brown swiftly on a very hot griddle pan and return to the dish) then cover with foil and transfer to the oven.
  10. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, chop the garlic very finely and mix with the parsley and orange zest.
  12. Just before serving, pour any excess fat off from the chops.

Method for creamed leeks

  1. Cut the leeks into 4-5cm (1 ½ -2") lengths, then shred them finely.
  2. Melt the butter in a wide pan and add the leeks.
  3. Stir to mix then add the orange juice and a little salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and simmer gently together for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the leeks and tender.
  5. Uncover and boil off most of the watery juices until all that remains are a few tablespoonfuls of buttery liquid.
  6. Now sprinkle with the flour and stir to mix evenly.
  7. Gradually add the milk, stirring, and then add the orange zest.
  8. Bring to the boil and simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes until very thick and creamy. If absolutely necessary, add a little more milk.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice.
  10. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  11. If not using immediately spear a small knob of butter on the tip of a knife and rub over the surface to prevent skin forming.
  12. Reheat gently, stirring frequently to prevent catching, before serving.

To serve

Spoon the leeks into the centre of the plate, top with a pork chop and sprinkling of gremolata.