I do intend on posting more frequently, but we have been working almost every day. Working so much has made me extremely excited about having a good home-cooked meal. Until recently, I did not like pork chops and whenever I did eat one I would COVER it in ketchup. However, after trying a couple different ways of cooking it I am starting to love it.
I have definitely hopped on the spaghetti squash bandwagon and I got a great one from the farmer’s market. I took more pictures of the spaghetti squash process than I will in the future because I know many people are unfamiliar with it. As I usually do, I made a few alterations to the original recipe (http://detoxinista.com/2013/02/cheesy-spaghetti-squash-casserole/) The original recipe calls for goat cheddar, which I could not find in the store. I probably could have gone to a specialty health food store, but I was feeling somewhat lazy. I also used all of my cheddar on the last recipe so I used some mozzarella that I had on hand, which changed the appearance, but not the taste. I also added two extra cloves of garlic because as you will see Jim and I agree that there is never too much garlic. I also used sour cream instead of Greek yogurt because when I have used Greek yogurt in similar recipes it created a weird taste.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with spaghetti squash here are the steps to cooking it:
- cut in half lengthwise
- remove the seeds like you would from a pumpkin, but be careful not to remove too much of the squash
- place the squash in a large dish ( I use a 9×13 inch casserole dish) with the inside of the squash down with about an inch of water
- microwave for 15-20 minutes (you can soften it in the oven, but I like to save time with the microwave since it doesn’t affect texture or taste)
Once the squash is soft take a fork and strip the squash down. If you reach a point where it is too hard you can re-microwave and continue. You can scrap the squash out until you reach the hard outside.
Once the squash is ready, I just mixed all the ingredients in a bowl and placed it in a casserole dish. I do not top the dish in cheese until the end because Jim and I do not like the texture it makes the cheese. Once the casserole was finished, I left it in the oven on warm. I planned it this way because I knew the pork chops needed to stay warm while I made the sauce.
On to the pork chops, when I found the recipe (http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/pork_chops_au_poivre.html) I decided to look up what au Poivre means so I could learn new cooking concepts. I found out it means with pepper. This made me laugh because it is so simple. However, this knowledge was useful because I knew not to skimp on the pepper. With Jim’s suggestion, I pounded out the pork chops so they would properly fry. Therefore, I covered the pork chops in pepper and dredged them in flour.
The next part was left to Jim because he has an amazing ability to fry meat. I can do it as well, but for some reason it never turns out as good. The recipe only calls for two tablespoons of oil, but as Jim says “people are crazy to think they can properly fry with only a few tablespoons of oil” Once he was done we poured all of the oil into a jar except for the two tablespoons so the sauce has the proper consistency. However, I think we left a little too much oil so I added a little cornstarch to fix it. Therefore, here is the final product:
Both of these turned out amazingly! This sauce is one of the best things I have ever made and now I want to put it on everything. The pork chops were perfectly tender. The spaghetti squash was really good as well, but I may work on tweaking it to gain more flavor. 🙂