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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spadaro Pork Chops and Seriously Good Cauliflower

This is the chop recipe I turn to when I've thawed or just bought chops and haven't given any thought to how I want to cook them till I am in the kitchen saying, "Huh. Time to get cooking." They're easy and I always have the ingredients (or close enough). And the pan juices are good enough to spoon up (This is why some of you should be brave and let your foods touch on the plate. . . that's how I discovered the juices are quite tasty on mashed cauliflower. That recipes follows).

The recipe is from Glamour's Gourmet on the Run cookbook. There's no explanation for the name of the dish.

Spadaro Pork Chops

3 to 6 pork chops, 1/2-inch thick*
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 shallots, finely chopped (I often substitute red or white onion, which works fine)
1/2 cup dry vermouth
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped, or 1 tsp. dried, crumbled

Trim fat from pork chops. In large skillet over medium heat, rub fat over bottom of skillet to grease well. Discard fat.

Add pork chops and brown well on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the shallots or onions, vermouth and rosemary, deglazing pan to loosen any brown bits. Bring to a boil over high heat,  reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until pork is fork-tender.

Remove chops from pan to lipped dish and pour pan juice over to serve. (Include a spoon for the juices.)

* I always make the same amount of sauce, no matter how many chops I want to cook. The original recipe calls for 6 pork chops. If you use thicker chops, just cook them a bit longer.


People who try to tell you that mashed cauliflower can be mistaken for mashed potatoes are delusional, lying or tastebud-impaired. But it is good stuff. My husband wasn't convinced he liked cauliflower till I came up with this one day. Now he looks forward to it, and always has seconds. I sometimes double the recipe so we can eat it for days.

Seriously Good Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower
4 oz. cream cheese or neufchatel
Large spoonful (1/4 cup?) diet spread such as Smart Balance (or butter, margarine)
Salt and pepper to taste

Break the head of cauliflower into large florets. Place in large saucepan with water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook till very tender. Drain, keeping cauliflower in the pot. Add the cream cheese/neufchatel and margarine. Mash (I use a potato masher) just to break up mixture, then use hand-held mixer to cream it. Add salt and pepper to taste, adding more neufchatel or margarine if desired. If you want it thinner, add a little milk or cream.

You can vary the seasonings to suit your mood, adding your favorite fresh herb (mine are thyme and rosemary), chopped.

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