Pan Fried Pork Chops & Roasted Vegetables

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A blizzard hit us last night…and it’s almost the end of February. Just when I thought I was gearing up for spring and looking forward to milling around in the garden, the wind chill dropped to below zero and the sky let go of at least 6 inches of snow. My mind seemed to click right back into winter mode and comfort food. I love the combination of roasted vegetables and fried pork chops. A little gravy to drizzle on the smashed, roasted potatoes and carrots…oh yes, we’re right back into winter comfort food, at least until the snow melts. And remember, as with the preparation of most meals, sipping on red wine while cooking a lovely, wintry meal, is a must!

Roasted Vegetables

Pre-heat oven to 450°

About 6 Red Potatoes, quartered

3/4  Large Sweet Onion, chopped into large pieces

8 Cremini Mushrooms, halved

5 Whole Carrots, roughly chopped on the diagonal

6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled, smashed, and rough chopped

1 1/2 tsp. Thyme Leaves

Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Pepper

Prepare the vegetables and garlic, place on parchment covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with thyme leaves. Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil, but not too much, season with sea salt & pepper. Set aside.

Next, place the chops on a plate, season with sea salt, pepper, and your favorite steak and chop seasoning. I use Chicago Steak & Chop Seasoning. Set aside.

Pork Chop Marinade

1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar

1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce

About 1/2 Tbsp. Rosemary

About 1/2 Tbsp. Sage

5 Cloves of Garlic, smashed and chopped

Chop the garlic, rosemary, and sage.

Place the pork chops, garlic, rosemary, sage, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in a zip lock bag, close and massage. Let rest either on your counter or in the refrigerator and place the vegetables in the oven to roast. Roast the veggies for about 45-50 minutes until golden and potatoes and carrots are fork tender. *Begin frying pork chops when there is about 20-30 minutes or so left on the veggies, because you will also need time to make the gravy.

Pan Fried Pork Chops and Gravy

4 Marinated Thick Cut Pork Chops (Mine weren’t as thick as I wanted, so I settled with what they had.)

Olive Oil

About 3 Tbsp. Non-Dairy Butter

About 1/8 Cup Gluten-Free Flour, I used Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

Beef Broth

Sea Salt & Pepper To Taste

Fry pork chops until they are golden brown on each side and done to your satisfaction. I like mine medium, you don’t need to cook them to “done” like most people think.

Remove from pan and cover with foil while you make the gravy. Leave all drippings in the pork chop pan and add the butter on medium to medium high heat.

Slowly sprinkle in the flour while whisking. This is what it should look like. Whisk it, dissolving flour completely, before you start adding the beef broth.

Once the flour has been completely whisked in and is bubbly, slowly pour in your beef broth. About 2 cups to begin with,whisking the entire time. Once it thickens, if necessary, add more broth to get the gravy to consistency that you like. Allow to boil (not too high) for a few minutes. This will ensure that you don’t have a grainy texture from the flour. Salt and pepper to your taste. This process only takes about 10 minutes so your pork chops should stay warm.

Remove roasted vegetables from the oven. (I forgot to take a picture…and they looked really good. I’ll blame that on my teenager talking to me and the red wine…Your onions will be slightly singed on the ends, carrots browned and potatoes slightly crispy.) Remove gravy from heat. Plate pork chops and roasted vegetables (I also served a green salad), and gravy. Enjoy!


Stuffed Cabbage With Roasted Potatoes and Root Vegetables

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Mmm…cabbage, beef, spicy sausage in a rich tomato sauce. Potatoes, yams, and beets roasting in the oven with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary.  A comforting combination for a very chilly day. Sometimes, I simply cannot face another green salad. I long for hearty, “grandma-like” meals and to me, a green salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar just does not fit into that category. Back in the day when I could eat dairy and slather my salad with blue cheese dressing, I was a lot more excited about eating my greens with every dinner. Now, I like to mix it up a bit and I’ve fallen in love with roasted vegetables. Roasting brings out their rich and deep flavors, giving them a completely different taste from steaming or sauteing. That earthy roasted flavor of the potatoes and root vegetables combined with the rich and spicy flavors of the stuffed cabbage is a taste explosion you won’t soon forget.

Cabbage Stuffing

1 medium onion, diced

1 cup spinach, chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup zucchini, diced

1 large head of cabbage, blanched with leaves separated (See Below)

1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary, chopped

1 Tbsp. thyme, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

about 3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. of ground extra lean beef

1/2 lb. gluten-free, dairy free – hot Italian sausage

2 cups rice blend (I use Rice Select Royal Blend – Texamati, Brown, Wild, and Red Rice)

Prepare vegetables, garlic and herbs, meat, and set aside.

Prepare rice according to package instructions.I leave the butter and salt out because I like to control the flavor in the rest of the dish.You can always add to it but it’s very difficult to take away too much salt.

Pour olive oil in a large dutch oven and heat over medium-high. Add onions, peppers, ground beef, and sausage to hot oil. Saute until meat is done. Add garlic, herbs, spinach, and zucchini, cooking for about five minutes more, until zucchini is softened and spinach is wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. I used about a tsp. of sea salt and 7 or so grinds of pepper.

Stir in rice, remove mixture from dutch oven and place in bowl, leaving any browned tidbits and drippings, set bowl and dutch oven aside.

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil for the head of cabbage. Once it boils, turn down to medium and place cabbage in the water. While you’re waiting for the cabbage to loosen, prepare the tomato sauce.

Tomato Sauce

2 cans fire roasted tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine, Merlot is best

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 1/2 tsp. thyme

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Set aside.

Remove the leaves from the cabbage with tongs as it starts to soften, draining them on paper towels. You won’t end up using the entire head of cabbage. I probably used about 10 or 12 leaves.

Fill each leaf with 1/2 cup of filling, rolling the cabbage over the filling and tucking the ends. Place in dutch oven seam side down.

Place them tightly so that they don’t fall apart during simmering.

Add sauce, place back on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

While the cabbage is simmering, prepare the roasted potatoes and root vegetables.

Roasted Potatoes and Root Vegetables

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

6 medium red potatoes

1 medium yam

3 medium to large beets

about 6 Tbsp. olive oil

about 3 Tbsp. garlic, chopped

1/2 Tbsp. rosemary leaves

sea salt and pepper to taste

Quarter potatoes, peel yam and beets. Cut yam and beets the same size as the quartered potatoes.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil sprinkle garlic and rosemary over the top. Salt and pepper (be generous) and toss.

Roast for 1 hour, stirring twice during cooking until vegetables and potatoes are browned and fork tender.