Mack's Corner

This Week


I rented a movie once and was getting ready to watch it. The movie that I thought I was going to watch was in the pre-views. Seemed a little strange. Then the title showed up, right title, standard music, then the credits started and they were all in Japanese. More music, title shows up again in English, then they start talking, all Japanese, everybody in it is Japanese, subtitles start going across the bottom. OK maybe this is one of those movies that starts in a different country and goes back to English when they move back to America or England, or maybe an American shows up in Japan and everybody starts speaking English … who knows, so I stayed with it. The subtitles never stopped and nobody ever spoke English, but it was a pretty good movie. I never get subtitle movies, but I usually like them when I do, makes me really watch the movie. Plus it's better than voice-over like Iron-Chef and Godzilla, at least their mouth fits what they say and their voice matches the person talking. I would rather hear them say something I don't understand than be totally weird ….

If you have been at Hope for very long then you know that there are some days where there can be 10 events going on at the same time. One Saturday there was a women's conference starting at 8am, a big funeral at 10am, several recovery groups around noon, Chair setup in the gym at 1:30pm, band rehearsal at 3pm, church at 5:30pm, and a wedding at 7pm. The women's conference had brunch and the funeral had food, pink balloons everywhere, 12 pink Full size Dogwood trees on the stage, and tables and chairs for 200 people, 800 at the service. It was like being in Time Square. I bet we had 200 volunteers off and on during the day doing everything you can think of to make it work. Serving food, sweeping floors, putting out chairs, dumping garbage, moving plants, washing dishes, parking cars, giving out programs, we had the whole building covered. It was exactly like it was supposed to be. The woman who was running the funeral kept coming up to me and saying "Wow! What a church!". About every 30 minutes she was amazed at something else and about every 2 minutes someone would come up to me and ask what else they could do to help …. It was a great day… It was Hope..

God's like that: Sometimes you don't get what you expected but it turns out to be better. God put us here together to help each other. You may think you don't like being with other people, but God made us that way and people will surprise you. If you're not helping somebody or being helped, then you're missing the best part of life..

I wonder if Godzilla ever attacked France, I always wanted to learn how to speak French. Maybe they could have him do the French dirty old man laugh…..


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

Ok, so who wants to stand out in the cold to grill something?  Let's do a grill recipe inside with your Iron skillet …. Then I've got a weird one I want you to try, it's the second recipe…

Cocoa-and-Chile-Rubbed Pork Chops 

(This is all Keto, Leave out the brown sugar if you want)
2 quarts water

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

Kosher salt

Four 1 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork loin chops

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoon pure ancho chile powder

Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing

In a large bowl, combine the water with the red pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and stir until the salt dissolves. Add the pork chops and let brine at room temperature for 1 hour.

(This is not a marinade, it's a brine.  SCIENCE LESSON: Brining makes cooked meat moister by hydrating the cells of its muscle tissue before cooking, via the process of osmosis, and by allowing the cells to hold on to the water while they are cooked, via the process of denaturation. The brine surrounding the cells has a higher concentration of salt than the fluid within the cells, but the cell fluid has a higher concentration of other solutes. This leads salt ions to diffuse into the cell, whilst the solutes in the cells cannot diffuse through the cell membranes into the brine. The increased salinity of the cell fluid causes the cell to absorb water from the brine via osmosis. The salt introduced into the cell also denatures its proteins. The proteins coagulate, forming a matrix that traps water molecules and holds them during cooking. This prevents the meat from dehydrating.…… cool huh!)

Get your Iron skillet (or a skillet you can put in the oven) hot and pre-heat the oven to 350.

In a bowl, mix the cocoa, sugar and Ancho powder with 1 tablespoon of salt.

Drain the pork chops and pat dry (Real dry! This will make the meat sear and not steam. And it will keep you from popping oil all over the top of your stove).   Remove any bits of crushed pepper.

Brush generously with olive oil. Roll the pork chops in the cocoa rub and pat to help it adhere.

Put a tablespoon of oil in the skillet and add the chops. Cook for 4 minutes over moderately high, turning the chops once or twice until lightly browned.

Transfer the skillet to the oven for about 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the chops registers 135° for medium meat.

(THIS IS A BIG DEAL!! The temp is the most important thing for cooking meat right. DON'T GO BY WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE OR FEEL! Buy a meat thermometer. If your meat gets over 150 degrees the cells start exploding. Even if you had cooked it under water, it will still be dry as toast if the temp is above 150 for very long..  This is why your pork chops are always dry. This is true on the grill too.. I know people say you have to cook pork to 2,000,000 degrees, you don't. If you're afraid if this the FDA says internal temp of 165 degrees for 15 seconds will kill all the bad stuff. So cook your pork to 160 degrees and let it rest. It will go past 165 while it rests. Watch it closely as soon as it goes past 150. The second it gets to 160, pull it out.)  

Let the chops rest for 10 minutes before serving.


This is from Modernist Cuisine, the cooking science guys

It really works!!!! You kinda need a scale but I'll give you the measurements. This is pretty low cal because the sauce is just cheese. Normally you would make a béchamel sauce (butter, flour, milk) to melt the cheese in. But this holds the cheese together better and you really get to taste the cheese. And it's easier…

Mac and Cheese

(keto: leave out the pasta. See other things to do at the bottom.)

Yield: 5 servings (800g / 5 cups)
Time: 30 min overall
Special Requirements: Sodium Citrate (Whole Foods)

265g or 1 1/8 cups Water or milk

11g or 2 ½ teaspoons Sodium citrate

285g or 4 cups White Cheddar cheese finely grated

240g or 2 cups dry macaroni

Combine the water/milk and sodium citrate in a cold pot and whisk to dissolve completely.

After it has dissolved bring it to a simmer (small bubbles).

Gradually add the cheese a tablespoon at a time and blend in each addition (an immersion blender works great for this, but a whisk works too) till smooth.

If the emulsion breaks, bring the mixture to a full boil and then continue processing it with the immersion blender/whisk. The mixture should pull together. If this fails, add a spoonful of heavy cream and try again.

((This is your cheese sauce.. you can flavor it any way you want: red pepper , curry powder, cumin, Tabasco, thyme, basil ... Skip the pasta if you want and put it on vegies or toast or meat loaf or potatoes.. ))

Cook pasta according to directions on the box.. Do not rinse the pasta.

Fold in the cheese sauce…

That's the basic setup …. From there add anything you want, use any cheese you like.. Jack and Stilton and folding in roasted bell peppers and wilted baby spinach; Gorgonzola and fontina with walnuts and sautéed mushrooms; Gruyère with roasted cauliflower and roasted tomatoes; sharp cheddar and Swiss with roasted apple and crispy bacon bits; and goat Gouda and cheddar with caramelized onions and black olives. The possible combinations are endless! 


How about saving a kid's life!!

When you give Platelets it's like giving St Jude $700 - $1000. If we don't give them, they have to buy them.

Giving Platelets is like giving blood, it just takes longer (1 1/2 hours) and you get all of your blood back (so you can do it every week if you want) . I know it's a long trip to go all the way down to St Jude, but you may be saving a kid's life . plus you get to watch a movie while you're there. Call Kim at 901.595.2024 and she'll setup an appointment and treat you like family. Just tell her you're from Hope.

Directions: From Poplar, turn north on Third Street, then right on Lauderdale/Jackson Ave (first right after you go under the expressway). Enter through the north guard gate (you'll see the Danny Thomas Pavilion. Gold top).

Tell the guard at the gate that you are here to donate blood. The guard will instruct you where to park. You will then enter the hospital by the red side door closest to the blood donor parking lot. The Blood Donor Center is in the southwest corner of the hospital on the ground floor.

Appointment times are generally available Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Except on Tuesdays they start at 9:15am.

See you this weekend. Bring a friend. It's going to be great!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 11:21 AM