New England Comfort Food Recipe

Kevin and Mark brought in traditional recipes from each other and their families. Kevin’s stuffed pork chops were a staple comfort food in his home growing up and Mark’s cauliflower bites were his Mothers way of tricking him in to eating his vegetables.

New England Comfort Food

New England Comfort Food

Hi!  We’re Kevin and Mark.  We have been cooking together for over 10 years.  Some of the best time we spend together is when we are cooking at home.  Cooking at our home is more than just preparing the meal for the day.  It is the time where we unwind from a stressful day at work, catch up with each other about what has been going on, and listen to music.  Since we both came from very different family backgrounds, we have both brought different recipes to our table that each one of us has never tried before. We love trying something new!  You should too, and we hope you’ll try our recipes and introduce them to your families.

We love to cook.  It has helped bring us together.  We wanted to share our joy of cooking with other people.  As a result, we created a cookbook for our families each Christmas that has really been fun to make.  We added funny stories about ourselves and our families and some of our favorite recipes we’d made that year.   It was such a hit that we thought it would be great to showcase two of those recipes to other people who could bring the same flavors to their homes.

You might wonder what it’s like to be on Real Food Real Kitchens? First of all, neither of us could say cauliflower.  The entire time we filmed, we kept saying broccoli, broccoli, broccoli.  Oh the times we have had to reshoot so we knew what we were talking about!   One of the most fun experiences was going to the grocery store because everybody was looking at us because we had a film crew following every move.  We got a lot of attention.   It took us about 10 hours to film our episode and we were quite nervous at first; but over time, we relaxed and even forgot at one point to par-boil the cauliflower!  Thank God for editing.

The cauliflower recipe came from Mark’s family.  As a child, he wouldn’t even look at a vegetable and it was a nightmare for his Mom.  She came up with this recipe because it was the only way Mark would eat his vegetables.  As a result, Mark’s mom made this almost every night for a while.

The pork chop recipe came from Kevin’s grandmother.  This was served almost once a week whenever pork chops went on sale (which was a lot).  We never really knew where she came up with this recipe and why she called them “stuffed” because the pork chops just had stuffing on the top and not inside.  Nevertheless, it was a filling supper good for any night of the week with leftovers for the next day.

Thanks for watching our episode and we can’t wait to hear back from some of you that try our recipes or have similar stories!

Kevin & Mark

Kevin & Marks Recipes

Nana’s Baked Stuffed Pork Chops

INGREDIENTS

1 loaf white bread

1 egg

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

½ c chicken stock

1 lb mild Italian sausage

3 T ground sage

1 T poultry seasoning

1 t celery salt

1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 Sirloin Cut Boneless Pork Chops (use any cut you like; we like this cut)

INSTRUCTIONS

Slice the casings of the sausage with a knife and discard.  In a large skillet, over medium high heat, brown the sausage in the olive oil.  Break it up with a wooden spoon or potato masher so it crumbles.  Once it is completely browned, move to a paper-towel lined plate, and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375*.

In a humongous bowl or stockpot, tear the bread slices into pieces.  Add egg, celery, onion, sage, celery salt, poultry seasoning, and cooled sausage.  Take off your wedding rings and get your hands into the bowl and combine everything together.  Add the stock; moisten everything and reduce with the moisture in the bowl by at least half.  Compress the stuffing until it is slightly sticky.  Continue to combine and add more stock if necessary.

Sprinkle salt & pepper over the pork chops and mound a patty of stuffing over the top of each pork chop and place in a greased baking pan.  The stuffing should cover the entire pork chop and will bake on top.  Continue mounding patties to cover the rest of the pork chops.

Bake the pork chops for about 30-40 minutes until the stuffing is crispy and the pork chops are cooked through nicely.

Serve immediately.

Cauliflower Bites with Cheddar Cheese Dipping Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 head of cauliflower, cut into 2-3” florets

2 eggs, beaten

1 c breadcrumbs

2 T Italian seasoning

¼ c grated Parmesan cheese

2 T butter

2 T flour

1 c milk

½ c chicken stock

2 c sharp, white cheddar cheese

¼ c Extra Virgin Olive Oil

INSTRUCTIONS

After chopping the cauliflower, (which on the television show we kept calling broccoli the entire time) par-boil it in a medium saucepan for five minutes. Drain and cool so you can handle them.

While cooling, gather two separate bowls. In one, crack the eggs and beat. In the other one combine the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.

Add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a large pan and heat to medium high. Drop the cauliflower in the egg first, then the breadcrumb mixture and right into the hot oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned. Then, set aside a covered plate lined with paper towels to drain the cauliflower and absorb any extra oil. Keep warm, working in batches.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, and whisk in the flour until making a quick roux. Then, add the milk, stock and handfuls of cheddar cheese until fully melted and combined.

Serve the bites with the cheese sauce for dipping or drizzled over the top.

by Craig Chapman