Smothered Porkchops with Cheesy Broccoli

Today we are cutting the carbs but not the flavor! The idea for the pork chops came from a meal kit from Green Chef, but we've kicked it up a it. The following was dinner for three with leftovers.

1/2 hour prep & 1/2 hour cook

For the pork chops:
- 3 pork loin chops apx 3/4" thick
- Salt or celery salt to taste
- Blackening seasoning, I use my pre-made Dad's Rub which is Chli powder, Black Pepper,
  Cayenne Pepper, Granulated Garlic, Cumin, Mustard Powder, Onion Powder, Paprika
- 2-3 strips of bacon, I used 2 strips thick cut bacon, fine diced for bacon bits
- olive oil to start the bacon
- 2 table spoons of butter
- 1 pint of your favorite mushrooms, I sliced whole baby portabellas
- 1 medium shallot fine diced, about 2-3 table spoons.
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup of chicken beef stock
- Splash of white whine optional
- Truffle Powder optional but highly recommended

For the broccoli, these can be adjusted to taste of course or what's on hand.
You can use extra cream, white wine or chicken stock to thin out the cheese.
We used my wife's small handfulls for the cheese.
- 1 brick of frozen broccoli or a head or two of fresh
- 1/2 cup of 1/2 & 1/2 - can easily use heavy or light cream
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan or romano
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 shredded cheddar
- Salt, pepper, granulated garlic to taste

Yes, Mom was helping dad cook this one. We usually cook together andshe deserves all the credit for the brocoli, and ordering the meal kits to get some low carb ideas. She started the broccoli at the same time I dropped the bacon as we wanted more time for the frozen broccoli. Not too much for one cook at a time either.

Prepped my chops when I was preparing everything else. So much easier when your ingredients are waiting for you. I score the fat on the chops with a small cross pattern. Season to taste with the salt and blackening seasoning.

I started the bacon in the pan with olive oil med low heat while the broccoli was on medium heat and covered to help it defrost. 

Bacon takes 10 - 15 minutes on med low. I wanted to render as much yummy bacon love as possible. When the broccoli starts to thaw, season as deseried with salt, pepper and garlic. Remove the bits from the pan, reserving the grease. Save the bacon to tope everything later.

Raise the temp on the bacon pan to medium high. Add the butter and let the pan come up to temp as the butter melts. When you see the butter start to brown, drop the chops on the fat side fist to sear and render, about a minute depnding on heat and the fat strip. Chops are 3-4 minutedsper side depending on thickness. I covered while cooking the first side as my chops were fairly thick and still very cold  even after an hour out of the fridge. Room temp meats will cook more evenly.

While the first side of the chops are cooking, add the cream into broccoli. We let the cream simmer for the broccoli until we removed the pork chops. Whn the mushrooms drop, you can fold in your cheese. If it is too thick, thin with stock, wine or extra cream. Too thin, add more cheese. When it comes to desired temp, torn off the heat and cover to keep warm for serving.

I flip the chops when they look good and seared. When the chops are done, remove and lest rest while the sauce gets going. If it is too thick, thin with stock, wine or extra cream. Too thin, add more cheese. When it starts to simmer, start folding in your cheeses. USDA recommends internal temp of 145 F. I do not use a thermomemter for chops, but I do the poke test. When medium rare to medium, the chop will give a little when poked, but bounce back. The bounce should feel like the base of your thumb while touching your middle two fingers. 

Add the mushrooms, and a couple minutes later add the shallots. Do not salt the mushrooms until ther are browned, or you will steam them instead. A few minutes to brown the mushrooms and time  and you can deglaze with a splash wine first optionally or just add the stock. Once it begins to simmer, add in the cream cheese. You may need more cheese or stock to desired thickness. Not that I wish to be vague, but everybod's tastes are different. Keep whisking until the cheese is fully incorparated.

I slice the meet apx. 1/8" to serve and then smother with the sauce on each plate, cheesy broccoli on the side, top with the bacon bits and we added a small salad for some more veggie love.


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