SANTA MARIA PORK CHOPS WITH BAKED MAC & CHEESE
On this day Mr. Cook decided that it was necessary to have mac & cheese for dinner. When this Mrs. inquired, “from the box or from the freezer?”, I was told that it would be created in the kitchen. Delightful! A thick cut bone in pork chop was a perfect match for the hearty and creamy baked mac & cheese. And the always necessary pop of green would be broccoli. I love these dinners, one meat, one starch and one veg. No stacking, just simple 3 part dinner. Even when Mr. Cook puts on these seemingly simple dinners each part of the plate works beautifully with the other components. Mac & cheese bite with a slice of pork, yes please! Cheesy broccoli bite, I’ll take it! All three, don’t mind if I do!
Eighth Night: Santa maria pork chops, baked mac & cheese with buttery breaded topping, lemony broccoli
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sprinkle chops with Santa Maria Seasoning.
Sear chops in a hot stainless steel pan with a little olive oil.
Throw in one chopped shallot.
Deglaze pan with a pour of white wine (enough to cover bottom of the pan), reduce.
Add one cup of chicken stock and put into the oven for 20 minutes… keep in mind these were some thick chops. If you are cooking with thinner chops cook for less time.
Mac n Cheese:
cook noodles pretty al dente
Start a roux – equal parts butter/flour go into a medium hot pan. Cook for only 5-7 minutes stirring constantly.
Mr. Cook thinks he did 4 tablespoons butter and flour and 3-4 cups milk, of course, he eyeballed it. He casually tells me “It’s just a bechamel sauce… with cheese added.”
Add milk and incorporate with a whisk.
Bring to a boil, this will thicken the milky sauce.
Add about 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese.
Season with salt and pepper.
In a casserole put al dente noodles and the cheese sauce, top with panko and drizzle melted butter over the crumbs.
Place into the oven on broil until browned (after pork chops have been removed).
Simply add broccoli to boiling water, cook until bright green and tender.
Remove and hit it with fresh squeezed lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper to taste.
Your dinner’s ready!