TND: Dinner – September 3rd

October 14, 2013

September 3rd

Dinner September 3rd
Cauliflower Cheese
Chai Brined Pork Chops with Peach Skillet Sauce

Cauliflower Cheese
(serves 6-8)

cauliflower - whole & served
4 lb cauliflower florets
1 2/3 cups milk
1 cup chicken stock
(scant) 1 Tbsp mustard
Nutmeg (to taste)
4 tsp cornstarch
4 tsp water
4 Tbsp Neufchatel cheese
4 oz Monterey jack cheese, grated (divided)
1 ½ oz mozzarella, grated
½ oz parmesan
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp butter
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Olive oil

Melt the butter in a skillet and then toast the panko breadcrumbs until golden brown.  Allow to cool and then combine with 2 Tbsp of the grated Monterey jack cheese, the grated parmesan, ¼ tsp garlic powder, (scant) ½ tsp salt, and (scant) ½ tsp pepper.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425.

Toss the cauliflower with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast for about 20-24 minutes, turning once.  You want them to be just cooked through.  You could also steam or boil the cauliflower until just tender – but I like roasting them because I find it concentrates the flavor, prevents any sogginess from boiling, and I have to turn the oven on to bake the casserole anyway.

In a heavy pot bring the milk, chicken stock, and mustard to a simmer.  Whisk the cornstarch with the water, and add to the pot.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened (about 2 minutes).  Remove from the heat and add the remaining Monterey jack cheese, mozzarella, and Neufchatel.  Season to taste with salt/pepper and nutmeg.

You can make the cheese sauce in advance.  Refrigerate overnight, and reheat (carefully – stirring – you don’t want it to burn) before mixing with the roasted cauliflower.

Mix the roasted cauliflower with the sauce to make sure everything is evenly coated.  Pour into a 9×13 casserole pan.  Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs evenly over the top.  Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 425 oven, or until the sauce is bubbly and the topping is crispy and browned.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Chai Brined Pork Chops with Peach Skillet Sauce

pork chops & sauce

I did a riff on the sweet tea brine I’ve used before (TND – Latest Salvo) – I substituted chai tea for regular black tea, used half honey and half brown sugar, and mashed up a peach in place of the lemon.

To make the peach skillet sauce, I sliced up 3 small(ish) peaches.  Then when the pork chops had cooked through, I removed them from the pan, deglazed the pan with some chicken stock, added the peaches and a generous splash of peach liquor (if you didn’t have any on hand – you could use white wine, brandy, calvados, etc – although I might also add a drizzle of honey since the peach liquor I used was quite sweet), and cooked the peaches for 1-2 minutes until the sauce had thickened and the peaches cooked a little bit.


One comment

  1. […] Recipes can be found here […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: