let's start with the wine, as i always do. what you need to note here is that i'm not a sommelier, and i'm not trying to be. i'm not truly pairing wines with meals. i'm having a glass or two of a bottle i think i'll like while i cook.
this time it's a cab sauv out of oregon. eh, it's ok. their sauv blanc is way better. and much more reasonably priced. and usually, i would have chosen a heartier, chardonnay-type, white to go with pork. but with the pungent flavor of blue cheese (which i didn't even use), i thought a red would work.
then i changed up the recipe a ton and the wine was anyone's guess. i should prolly just get to the recipes.
i'll call them 'savory stuffed chops' and 'squashed pot bake.' (it will all make sense later.)
i'm going to take you through the two recipes together, because you have to use the oven for both so it effects temperature and cook time. but you can separate them. remind me, and i'll tell you how at the end. (funny, it's that sentence that will remind me. you don't actually have to do anything.)
(for the chops)
two large boneless pork loin chops
4 oz fontina val d'aosta
3 slices prosciutto
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste
(for the squashed pot)
1 medium butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
1 bulb roasted garlic (mashed into a paste)
drizzle of olive oil
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 stick butter (browned)
salt and pepper to taste
first things first, we roast the garlic.
preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
peel the outer layers of your bulb, without dislodging individual cloves.
cut off the top quarter to half inch of the bulb, exposing the cloves. you might need to address the lower clove layers individually.
drizzle with olive oil, and rub it in with your fingers.
wrap the whole thing in foil and put it in one cup of a muffin tin.
bake 30-35 minutes.
use a butter knife to scrape out each bulb and mash with the flat of the knife on a flat surface.
transfer the paste to a small bowl and mix with the nutmeg.
stir, stir, stir. you don't want the butter to boil. but it WILL foam up.
once the foam subsides, you can actually watch brown specs form at the bottom of the pan. you want cinnamon-colored, autumny specks and a nutty aroma. you don't want dark brown or black specks.
once you have the specks and aroma you want, remove from heat and pour into the bowl with the squash and potato.
add the nutmegged-garlic paste, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss by hand, coating the squares evenly.
while that bakes, peel and deseed your squash as well as peel your sweet potato. cut them into 1 inch by one inch squares and set aside in a bowl.
now we're going to brown some butter.
heat a pan over medium heat. separate an entire stick of butter into half-tablespoon-sized pats and throw into the pot.
once melted, you need to really watch the butter. it can very easily burn. and you'll lose the nutty flavor you're looking for and get a nasty-tasting mess.
grease a small pan.
chop your cheese into tiny cubes, about 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch. chop your prosciutto the same way. mix them together in a bowl with your chopped fresh chives.
divide into halves and roll into 2 loose balls.
with a sharp knife cut a "pocket" into your chops, much the same way you'd butterfly them, only leaving three sides intact.
push one ball into each pocket and flatten your chops. close the pocket with toothpicks.
place them in your greased pan and salt and pepper the top.
bake for 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees with your squash pot bake.
the squash pot only serves to accentuate that nutty woodsiness. try amuche-bouching them together for the one perfect bite.
plus, the sweet potato will be softer than the squash. it's a nice contrast in one dish.
if you're going to make them separately, cook the chops in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes and the squash pot at 375 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.
don't forget to follow my pinterest board, and stay tuned for the next episode of shit i'm making TONIGHT.
*once again, all shitty photos taken with my iphone.