On most Saturday nights dining at home , we select a nice bottle of wine and make a meal that pairs well with it. For tonight, we decided to use the last of our pork chops from the Old Time Meat and Deli  shop's spring sale remaining in our freezer. We had two pork loin chops to use. So, we are instead reversing the plan to find a nice wine to go with the featured protein. In addition, I decided to try the method in The Best Recipe Cookbook for pan seared, oven roasted, thick cut pork chops with a sweet and sour pan sauce with bacon and tomatoes. We bought the Layer Cake Primativo on our shopping trip for this dinner - turned out to be a fine match!
To go with the chops and sweet and sour sauce, I wanted to have garlic mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts with lemon and bacon. We have garlic mashed potatoes fairly often and I've tried garlic raw, roasted and simmered in wine and/or water then added to the potatoes. In the same book I found a recipe for garlic mashed potatoes with smoked gouda and chives. Had to try it. Loved it and super excited for the leftovers!
We were talking tonight during dinner about how grateful we are for our many blessings and that our meals at home -- made together -- are preferred to dining out. Dining out for us now is more about the social aspects than the food. And we love both!
Sweet and Sour Pan Sauce with bacon and tomatoes for pork chops
Makes about2 cups - 4 portions
5 slices bacon, chopped
2 large shallots, minced
Pinch of sugar
clove of garlic
4 plum tomatoes, pealed, seeded and diced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup dry Marsala or sweet vermouth
4 T cold, unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
1 T chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon and sauté until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate. Pour off all but 1 T of the bacon fat.
Reduce heat to low and add shallots and sugar. Cook about 1 minute, do not brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium high. Stir in tomatoes and vinegar, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add Marsala and simmer until reduced by half - about 5 minutes. Whisk in butter one piece at a time. Stir in parsley and bacon; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over chops.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Smoked Gouda and Chives
about 22 garlic cloves (2 heads)
2 # russet potatoes, scrubbed, not peeled
1 stick butter, melted (omitted)
1 cup half and half (I subbed whole milk)
1 1/2 t salt
black pepper to taste (I like white pepper with potatoes)
4 oz shredded smoked gouda cheese
3 T chopped chives
Toast garlic, covered in a small skillet over low heat shaking pan frequently, about 20 minutes. Off heat let stand, covered, until softened, about 15 minutes longer.
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 1" water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 to 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain.
Skin potatoes and rice with roasted garlic. Stir in butter and then whisk in warmed milk (half and half) and pepper.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Toss with olive oil and salt
Bacon and lemon
Spread halved sprouts on jellyroll pan. Roast at 400 to 450 F until cooked through
Cook minced bacon in a skilled until crisp. Discard all but 1 T of bacon fat. Add lemon juice and sauté to incorporate. Add roasted sprouts to reheat. Serve with bacon bits as a garnish.