Warm and Cozy Fall Dinners

The cooler weather is bringing out my urge to cook more comfort foods. When it’s damp, rainy and cold outside, like it happens to be today, a salad just isn’t going to cut it! I’m sharing with you two of a very long list of dinners that bring me comfort.  Neither take too long to cook, so both would be great for a mid week meal as well as for the weekend.
Boneless Pork Chops in a Creamy Mustard Thyme Sauce with Mushrooms and Caramelized Shallots.
Sound fancy or complicated?  It’s really not, providing you have some caramelized shallots or onions done ahead of time.

Season your chops with salt and pepper then brown them in a drizzle of olive oil.*** Remove chops, do the same with the mushrooms, then set aside as well.*** De glaze your pan with chicken stock enough to cover the bottom and let it bubble.*** Add two heaping tablespoons of grainy mustard, some fresh thyme and a cup or so of cream or half and half, whisking until smooth.*** Place the chops back in along with the mushrooms and simmer until meat is cooked through.*** Garnish with the caramelized shallots.
You’ll need to have something green on the side so, how about a little broccoli rabe? It goes very well with both the pork and the chicken. Here’s how I make it.
And speaking of chicken, I love making this Ricotta Stuffed Chicken. You’ll need a butterflied chicken, which means you need to remove the rib, back and breast bone of your chicken then flatten it out like a butterfly. I’ve tried to do it myself but it’s never a pretty site so I just let my butcher at Whole Foods do it for me, it takes him 2 seconds and it comes out perfect every time!
Gently loosen the skin all around the chicken with your fingers, be careful not to rip into it.

Saute in a small pan, 3 chopped green onions and 1 minced garlic clove.*** After it cools, place into a bowl along with 2 cups of drained ricotta cheese,*** 1/2 cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil,***1/2 cup of grated romano cheese,*** the zest of 1 lemon,*** chopped fresh basil and parsley,*** salt and pepper. Mix it all together.
Take a spoon and shove the mixture all over underneath the skin that you loosened. Rub the outside of your chicken with olive oil and fresh herbs and roast in a 375 degree oven until internal temperature reaches 180.Get your sweater on and start cooking!



Using Up Our Summer Bounty

This quick and easy meal is something I made often this summer, everything is cooked in one pan and before you know it it’s on your table, providing you use thin cut boneless pork chops like I used here or some chicken breast.

It’s been so hot and muggy here the humidity is off the charts, walking out to my grill is not appealing, sometimes I’d rather cook inside with my nice cool air conditioning on. Yes, you have to heat up your oven for this but it’s nothing compared to the heat outside plus it’s a great way for me to use up my sweet cherry tomatoes that we’re fortunate enough to be picking on a daily basis.

We have an over abundance this year I think we went a little overboard in our planting of cherry tomatoes I’m constantly thinking of ways to use them, I made this recipe up out of necessity and it’s become one of our summertime favorites.

I love the different colors and how they cluster together and stay on the vine. They’re so delicious fresh, but sometimes I think I love them even more when they’re cooked and caramelized, the flavor just intensifies! We have a few different varieties some being heirlooms. Right now I’m looking out my window and all I see is red!

I used my cast iron grill pan, but you can use any heavy pan, you’re first going to brown your pork or chicken on top of the stove and then finish it off in a 375F oven until the meat is cooked through and the tomatoes are caramelized.
Pre heat oven
Season your meat with salt and pepper
Brown on both sides in a hot pan drizzled with olive oil
Toss in your cherry tomatoes, I used a lot as you can see
Shaved garlic
Fresh basil
Drizzle olive oil over top of the tomatoes
When finished garnish with more basil, you can never have too much!
Serve this with some five minute cous cous on the side and you’re done! I told you it was easy.
Buon Appetito
I hope you can stop by and help me celebrate my 3rd Blogiversary on Sunday, until then have a great week!