42. and 43. Rosemary & sage pork chops and Cauliflower cheese


Home Cooking Made Easy p82 and 140

I’m eating dairy again! It’s been a pretty exciting couple of weeks, and I have a real backlog of things to eat that I’ve been missing for 7 months – plain cheddar cheese came pretty high on the list. So it seemed a good time to crack on with some more Lorraine recipes as we’re nearly at the halfway point of the year.

So this weekend, I made pork chops (with a creamy mustard mash) and a cider and cream sauce, served with Gruyere and mustard cauliflower cheese with cream and blue cheese in the roux sauce. Spotting a theme?

Lorraine describes the pork chops as “a quick supper dish,” but it’s really not. I mean it is quick compared to a 6 hour roast shoulder of pork, but not quick like “Mr Cookingfanatic has just told me he has a meeting in half an hour and I haven’t started on dinner yet!” It requires at least 30 minutes cooking time (maybe nearer 40), plus all the prep beforehand (peeling potatoes etc.). It’s also the kind of meal where you need to be standing over it the whole time, so it’s not great for hospitality/entertaining as you won’t see your guests!

Having said that, it is exceedingly tasty, and I’d definitely make it again on a day where I’m not in a rush.

The mashed potato is made by adding double cream, butter and wholegrain mustard when mashing.

While the potatoes are cooking, you need to caramelise diced apple and shallot in some butter and sugar in a frying pan, then set aside. Then season pork chops with rosemary, salt and pepper and fry for 5-10 minutes on each side, depending on their size. Then keep the chops warm while you make a sauce in the pan. It’s fried garlic, cider, sage, cream and the apples and shallots. Plonk down some mash, topped with a chop and the sauce.

I served it with the cauliflower cheese, but it could also have done with something green and fresh, like mangetout.

To make the cauliflower cheese, you roast the cauliflower covered with foil while you make the roux sauce. This is revolutionary! Boiling cauliflower makes it soggy and stinks out the kitchen. I vow to always roast now. Melt 30g butter in a pan, add 30g of flour and make a paste (“roux”) and cook for about a minute. The remove from the heat and add 150 ml milk and 150ml single cream gradually. I add the first 1/4 tiny bit by tiny bit, then chuck in the next 1/4 and mix, then pour in the final 1/2. Then return to the heat and boil until it thickens – keep stirring so it doesn’t stick and remove from heat as soon as it’s thick. Add some blue cheese and chives to the sauce.

A good looking roux sauce!

Pour sauce over the cauliflower. Top with breadcrumbs and gruyere (or parmesan or grana padano) and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Yum!

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