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Healthy twist on hearty classics

Alicia Colombo

As the warmer weather breaks and cooler temperatures move in, so does the urge for those hearty classic dishes that we call “comfort food.” Whether it’s a meal from your childhood or a go-to dish for cool nights, comfort foods create warm and fuzzy feelings.

While comfort food is typically synonymous with high fat and carbohydrates, this month’s recipe box is delivering a healthy twist on classic comfort food.

Smothered Pork Chops with Broccoli and Mushrooms

1 lb. cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
4 small bone-in pork chops (about 2 pounds total)
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
¾ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken stock
2 tbsp. crème fraiche or sour cream
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss mushrooms with 1 tablespoon oil on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes. Push mushrooms to one side of pan and add broccoli. Toss with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Cook until internal temperature reads 140°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil; reserve skillet.

Add shallots to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add stock and simmer until thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in crème fraiche, Dijon and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Serve pork topped with pan sauce and roasted vegetables.

Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese

3 tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for baking dish
1 lb. cavatappi or other short pasta
1 medium-sized head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ 2 cup)
¼ tsp. mustard powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 ½ c. panko breadcrumbs
½ c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add cauliflower, garlic, and onion. Season with salt. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add 4 cups water and simmer until vegetables are very soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups cooking liquid; let cool slightly.

Combine vegetables, cheddar, Parmesan, mustard powder and cayenne in a blender (depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do this in two batches). Purée, adding just enough reserved cooking liquid to get mixture moving, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add sauce to pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Toss together panko, parsley, and remaining tablespoon oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake until golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes.

Source: Country Home Living

Categories: Food


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