An Unusual Cali Chard – well worth
the $11 bucks!

This was an adaptation of a recipe from Cooks Illustrated – a few additions basically, couple of subtractions… the usual menu editing I go through..  My oven is a bit screwy – the 475 degree temp seemed a bit high to me, but my oven runs a good 50 degrees cooler than it should, so I had to run the chops under the broiler for about 2 minutes to finish browning them.  Other than that, they were excellent, crunchy, salty, tasty.  I had some leftover olive/mayo mix from the chops, which I added to the cauliflower for a little extra kick.  Served it with a really good Chard for about 11 bucks…. Overall a great meal, and super simple!  Here you go:
1 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup pan toasted slivered almonds (roast in dry skillet over med heat till brown)
5 tbs lite mayo
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tbs parmesan cheese
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 tbs olive tapenade ( I used some muffaletta mix I had in the fridge – diced green olives)
salt/pepper to taste
2 bone in pork chops
1 tbs regular olive oil
1: Place rimmed baking sheet on middle rack of oven, heat to 475 degrees.
2: In food processor, pulse panko, almonds, 1 tbs mayo, garlic, parm, basil, and oregano until coarsely ground, place in a shallow dish.
3: Whisk remaining mayo and tapenade mixture in a small bowl
4: Pat chops dry with paper towel.  One at a time, coat chops with mayo olive mixture, and dredge through bread crumb mixture.  Place on separate plate.  Remove pan from oven, brush with olive oil.  Transfer chops to pan, place on middle rack of the oven – bake for 12 – 15 minutes until brown and crunchy.
I served these with ½ head of fresh cauliflower, sautéed with a shallot, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tbs of butter and 2 tbs olive oil for about 10 minutes.  I added 8 cherry tomatoes, halved, the remaining mayo/olive mix, a skosh of blue cheese and served.
We drank a 2008 Geyser Peak Chardonnay with the meal – a vineyard we have been to, and a quite nice wine for the 11 bucks.  It was a smooth, spice (kind of a pear/nutmeg hint to it) with a really long, buttery finish.  Definitely not your usual Cali Chardonnay – would have been awesome with Thai food as well!
Well, enjoy!  Sorry I have been a little delinquent in posting recently – I will get back to several a week from now on – promise! 
Bon Appetit!

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