Portabella Porkchops

Whether you spell them portabellas, portabellos or portobellos, mushroomy goodness awaits — particularly when paired with porkchops.  As promised, I’ll divulge the recipe.

But first…

I’d like to thank Paula from bell’alimento for her inspiration for this dish, as well as for the LeCreuset French oven I won earlier this winter.  (One benefit of blog world is connecting with generous friends who sponsor give-aways and the generous folks who sponsor them.)  Thank you so much.  I’ve been having fun with it ever since!

I chose mine in a gorgeous Truffle color…

Although truffles weren’t in the budget, portabellas were.  Here’s my adaptation of the original recipe

Portabella Porkchops

4 bone-in sirloin pork chops

1/2 c. flour

1 tsp. seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s)

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (more, as needed)

2 Tbsp. butter (more, as needed)

8 oz. Portabella mushrooms, thickly sliced

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 c. dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

2 rosemary leaves, minced

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Combine flour, Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Dredge pork chops in mixture; set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large, heavy skillet.  Add mushroom slices; saute until golden.  Season with Kosher salt & pepper; transfer to bottom of French or Dutch oven.

Meanwhile, (if needed) add more olive oil and butter to skillet.  Sear pork chops on both sides until golden.  Lay pork chops over mushrooms.

Deglaze skillet with wine.  (Add a little at a time and scrape the fond to incorporate all of the flavor.)  Add sliced garlic and minced rosemary; lower heat.  Simmer until sauce is reduced to your liking.

Carefully pour sauce into French or Dutch oven between and/or around (not over) pork chops.  Cover and place in oven.

Bake approximately 30 minutes, until pork chops are tender and cooked through.  Remove from oven; allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.  Serve with rice or noodles, topped with Portabella Mushroom Sauce.

Wishing you a hearty and yummy (not to mention mushroomy) New Year!

~ Kim

P.S.   I’ve been making some changes to my blog, including the addition of “Facebook page live.”  Please be sure to join there and/or like me (gratuitous plug…)  The more, the merrier!

Pasta Fit For A King

I remember the first time I saw Elvis’s car.  I was young and dumb and bluer than Blue Suede Shoes.  Uh huh huh.

It was my first sales trip to Nashville and I was on a junket tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame.  (Such are the perks of young, dumb sales reps.)  Frankly, it was a fascinating place and I felt right at home.  Artificiality was no stranger to me (being a food ingredient rep and all) and somehow rhinestones and wigs fit into the general scheme of things.

Wandering amongst the displays, I amused myself, in spite of my limited knowledge of country singers and their hit songs — and then I saw it.  The Golden Cadillac.  Elvis’s car.

I remember thinking to myself, “Wow.  That’s really something.”

In a corny, but sincere way, I meant it.  Gaudy?  Yes.  Excessive?  Yes.  But in that moment, I’d connected with him.  With The American Dream.  Success suddenly seemed possible to the point of being frivolous, and I loved it.

Fast forward to my kitchen one recent evening.

All the elements of a hit were present:  Succulent mushrooms.  Fresh garlic.  A sweet, yellow onion.  Chardonnay.  Heavy cream.  Hope Creamery butter.  (Good ingredients, like catchy lyrics and a solid hook, are mandatory for culinary success.)  But, there’s also the element of it.

Elvis had it — that undefineable something that set him apart from everyone else and made him memorable.  Why on earth I was thinking about him on this particular evening was beyond me.  That’s what I mean by “it.”

I pondered potential seasonings as the onions caramelized.  Freshly ground nutmeg?   Kosher salt?  A twist of the pepper mill?  Yes, yes, and yes.  Grace notes to a sizzling melody.

When the onions were nearly done, I threw in the mushrooms and sauteed them for a couple of minutes, then gently laid the minced garlic over the top.  The ensuing aromas hinted at greatness.

Following a splash of Chardonnay (Elvis was a splashy guy), I deglazed the pan, then added a few tablespoons of heavy cream.  Nice, but it still lacked it. 

For some reason, I thought of Cognac.  Had any been lurking in the cupboard, I would’ve doused the sauce liberally with it.  Perhaps even excessively.  But, Cognac wasn’t in the budget this week (or in any recent week that I can recall), so I dispensed a frivolous glug of whiskey over the lovely mixture and set it ablaze.  (No fancy maneuvers or rhinestone jumpsuits required when pyrotechnics are involved.)

As the flames flickered out, the pale sauce melded into a hue that I can only describe as the color of Elvis’s Golden Cadillac — and it tasted as rich as it looked.  Success.

“Wise men say only fools rush in, but I can’t help falling in love with you.”  Golden Cadillac Pasta.  Thank you, Elvis.  Thank you very much.

Enjoying “Graceland,”

~ Kim

P.S.  Sorry, no recipe — this was “one of a kind” — like him.