Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pork chops with garlic butter roasted calabicata squash and mushrooms, served with mashed potatoes

I love to post complete meal ideas instead of just one recipe.

Anyways, I had tons of pork chops as you could imagine, as mentioned in my previous posting about buying pork at its rock bottom rice and stocking up on it like crazy.

Pork Chops with Garlic Butter Roasted Calabicata Squash & Mushrooms, with Mashed Potatoes


Pork Chops:
1 pork chop per person. Or if you eat bigger portions then add a few more.
Steak & chops grinder/spice mix
Soy Sauce

Garlic Roasted Vegetables:
1 pound of soft types of vegetables explained below. I found that 1 pound feeds like 3 people.
3 large garlic cloves minced or pressed. Add a little more garlic if you love a strong garlic flavor.
2 tbs of your prefered cooking oil, like vegetable oil or olive oil.
2 tbs of rinsed capers (optional). I don't like capers so I didn't use it.
3 tbs of butter separated into various pieces
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt & pepper

Mashed Potatoes:
Everyone has their own recipe.
Russet potatoes & additions like butter, milk, mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper, etc...However you like to prepare yours.

I always start with what takes the longest to cook. So I peeled and chopped up russet potatoes and put them to boil, while I cooked everything else.

Then I began with the roasted vegetables. I was inspired by a garlic butter roasted mushroom recipe I found  HERE, but of course I tweaked it a bit.

Gather 1 pound total of soft type vegetables. I mean vegetables that are soft once cooked, like squash, zucchini, any type of mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, etc...whatever you want.

In my case I had some calabicata squash because it was on sale for $0.59 per pound! What a bargain. To me anything below $1 a pound is a great deal. I've never eaten this type of squash, but to me its just like zucchini. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a type of zucchini. Clean and slice the vegetables until they are all about the same size. I halved my mushrooms and cut my squash into half moons.

Put all vegetables in a bowl. Mix in 3 large minced garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons of oil (like vegetable or olive oil), with the veggies. Every time a recipe calls for minced garlic, I use a garlic press. Its quicker and you get finer garlic. I love garlic, but I don't love getting a big chunk of it in my mouth. If you really love garlic then add a few more cloves in there.

 The original recipe added 2 tablespoons of rinsed capers as well. I dont like capers. Ew. So I didn't do this.

Pour the vegetables into a 9x13 glass baking dish. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Cut 3 tablespoons worth of butter into several pieces, and put over the vegetables to melt while it cooks. Bake for 25 minutes in the oven at 450 degrees.

Once its done mix in 1/4 cup of chopped parsley. I put the dish back in the oven for like 5 minutes to cook the parsley a little bit. You can leave it raw, but I don't like strong tasting parsley.The original recipe also mixed in 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to the veggies after they were done cooking, which I did not do.
Still came out with an amazing amount of flavor and everything was juicy. Perfect with mashed potatoes.

By this time my potatoes were done. I don't think I have to explain how to make mashed potatoes...Right? I like to add primarily mayonnaise (Hellmann's brand only), with a little bit of butter an milk. The mayonnaise gives such a wonderful flavor to mashed potatoes. Then I added lots of freshly cracked black pepper. To get perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes mix it all with a hand mixer, do not mash it with a potato smasher.

Time to make pork chops! A fast and easy way to cook them is simply on a grill or a flat skillet. I took my pork chops and sprinkled some soy sauce and steak seasoning. Thats it. I love the smoky grill flavor the steak seasoning gives. Especially since I don't have a grill. I just have a weird flat pan that you should use to make pancakes.The chops marinated over night. Once it was dinner time it took like 6 minutes per side and they were perfectly juicy.

I cant stress to you how important it is to learn how to cook meat properly. I used to over cook my meat so much it was always dry and tough. Gross. Knowing how to cook meat properly can make even cheap cuts of meat taste really good.

Fortunately, I had access to the best cooking class in the world, Truffles & Trifles in Orlando Florida. They have a special class almost every month on how to cook meat. We cooked everything from lamb, to rolled flank steak, and hamburgers. Obviously the majority of us don't live near Orlando Florida, but I encourage you to look up local cooking classes in your area. Or watch YouTube videos.

I'm trying really hard to incorporate more vegetables in my diet, and the garlic butter roasted method will definitely help.

No comments:

Post a Comment