I know what you may be thinking…what reasonable woman decides to take on a dinner of this magnitude on a weeknight. Work until 4:30, do homework with the kids, drive 1 to swim practice and …POOF! It is 6:00.
Well, folks that is exactly what I did Tuesday night. I thought my husband and I needed to have an ‘adult’ dinner with all of the trimmings. A clean tablecloth, nice cloth napkins, candles and the really nice dishes. We even had wine! We really went all out ????
Sometimes, there is nothing more romantic than you and your man making dinner together. The anticipation of the finished meal is not something you can reproduce at a restaurant. I didn’t want to get a sitter and go out. I wanted to make something special, while he watched me cook, and we had a bit of wine and good conversation in the process. Our kids were in bed early, so I saw this as the perfect chance for some ‘adult time’. After 17 years together and 15 years of marriage sometimes you need to get back to basics. Nothing says love like making dinner together in flannel pants and t-shirts!
Now this is a recipe in 4 parts. Make any or all of this but at least make the pork and cream sauce over the smashed potatoes. It is just perfect together!
|Herb rub just waiting to be mixed|
1. Begin by making the herb rub.
1/4 C Rosemary ‘leaves’ fresh
2 TB dried oregano
2 TB dried thyme
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 TB kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
|Sweating the shallots and garlic|
|Making the Roux|
|The cream sauce right before straining it|
2. Prepare the rosemary cream sauce
Rosemary Cream Sauce
1 tsp olive oil
2 TB chopped shallots (about 2 large)
1 TB minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 1/2 C chicken stock
2 C heavy cream (of course you can use half & half)
1/2 tsp ground dried rosemary
1/4 tsp ground dried sage
2-3 TB of white Roux (just melt 3 TB of butter in a small saucepan, add 2 TB of flour over medium heat and allow to incorporate and form a Roux. Whisk with a fork, then remove from heat. This may take 2 minutes)
1 TB chopped fresh rosemary
Saute shallot and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add chicken stock and reduce by 1/2 over medium heat. Add the cream, ground rosemary and sage. Let simmer and thicken after you add the Roux. You may strain through a sieve, puree with an immersion blender or leave chunky. Add the chopped rosemary at the end of the dish.
|The cabbage in the ‘wine bath’|
3. Prepare the braised cabbage
Braised Red Cabbage
1 head red cabbage, thinly shredded
3 TB red wine vinegar
3TB red wine
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Bring all of the ingredients to a simmer in a large saute pan. Allow cabbage to soften considerably. Reduce heat and keep warm
|Beautiful, buttery and fragrant roasted shallots|
4. Prepare the roasted shallots
8-10 whole peeled shallots
2 TB of herb rub
1 TB olive oil
In a small bowl mix together and toss the ingredients and pour into a small roasting pan or baking sheet. Bake in a 325 degree oven until soft and golden brown, or for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
|Thick cut pork chops sizzling away in a pan of hot butter|
5. Prepare the pork chops
Rub pork chops with a small amount of oil and then the herb rub. In a large saute pan melt a small amount of butter, then add a drizzle of olive oil (medium heat). Sear the pork chops on every side, cooking through. If they are really thick you can finish them off in the oven on a cookie sheet.
|The finished dish over the blue cheese mashed potatoes and little spicy blue cheese wafers|
***I served this over a simple smashed potato sprinkled with Danish Bleu cheese. This dish is full of robust flavors yet very simple. This is what I call comfort food! I had a nice Chardonnay with this and my husband had Pinot Noir. I bought bone-in chops that I had sliced to a 2 inch thickness. Alternately, you could use a pork tenderloin as well. Fresh herbs are fantastic, but readily available dried herbs from your spice cabinet work great for this recipe! ***