Mack's Corner

This Week -

This week 5-10-16


I was watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull  last week. It's pretty good. The chase scene is great, although I didn't really buy the kid swinging through the trees with the monkeys any more than Crouching Tiger.. I now have a new fear of ants, especially really big ants (it you haven't seen the movie, the ants are the Yuk scene). I probably won't kick any more fire ant hills any time soon. The thing I like about Indiana Jones and movies like National Treasure is that there's just enough truth to keep pulling you back to chance that all of this just might be possible. There really was an "Ark of the Covenant" and in the Bible it was carried in front of the army. See Ark of the Covenant  .. It was lost at some point. Maybe it's still around somewhere?.. There really was a "Holy Grail", The last Supper really happened. There was a cup at the table. From then on it gets iffy .. see Holy Grail .. But people really have been looking for it for 2008 years.. Does it still exist? Maybe... You know that thing in National Treasure 2 about the desk in the Oval Office, the Resolute Desk, that's true. And there really is another one in England ..see Resolute desk .. All this stuff makes me want to go study history and the Bible just to know things.. Of course you can study just the Bible and learn a lot, but you really need to study a bunch of other things to really learn biblical history, especially if you want know about the first century church (there were a lot of historians by then). Wouldn't it be great to be able to see the real Ark of the Covenant or the real 10 Commandments? Or how about The Holy Grail or the Tomb where Jesus rose from the dead.. But nobody knows.

God's like that: I think he likes being a mystery. It requires faith. I sometimes wish there was a big pointer in the sky saying "do this >>" or "go here>>". Something obvious. But God doesn't like "Obvious". God says we know everything we need to know in the Bible... But it mostly requires faith. Remember the times when God was there with you. Don't give up.. He's not always obvious, but he's always there ...

I wonder if I could raise those ants so that they would take out the garbage?


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

We live in Memphis and Pork BBQ is everywhere. So I was thinking about pork. Pork can be healthy. Try these...

Flattened Pork Chops With Greens And Mustard Pan Sauce


1 medium shallot, thinly sliced into rings
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
4 bone-in pork rib chops (about 12 oz. each)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 bunch mustard greens, tough stems trimmed


Place shallot and mustard seeds in a small bowl or heatproof jar. Bring sugar, ¼ cup vinegar, ½ tsp. salt, and 2 Tbsp. water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour over shallot and mustard seeds; set aside. (Notice Hot = Mustard, sour=vinegar, salty=salt , sweet=sugar)

Pound pork chops between 2 layers of plastic wrap to ¼–½” thickness; season with salt and pepper. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if needed, cook pork chops until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add mustard, honey, remaining 2 Tbsp. vinegar, and a splash of water to skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet, until liquid is slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pan sauce from heat.

Place greens in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle warm sauce over greens and toss to coat. Drain shallot and mustard seeds.

Serve pork chops with greens topped with pickled shallot and mustard seeds and drizzled with more oil.


Pork Chops And Squash With Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette


2 tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
3 pounds winter squash (such as acorn, kabocha, delicata, or butternut), halved, seeded, cut into 1-inch wedges
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 1-inch-thick bone-in pork chops
1/2 small garlic clove, finely grated
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro plus leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lime juice


Preheat oven to 425°. Spread out pumpkin seeds on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast, tossing once, until just beginning to darken, about 4 minutes. Let cool. Coarsely chop; set aside.

Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast squash, turning occasionally, until golden brown and tender, 35-40 minutes.

When squash has been roasting for 30 minutes, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Season pork chops with salt and pepper and cook until brown, 5-8 minutes. Turn over and cook until pork is cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.

Whisk garlic, 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, reserved toasted pumpkin seeds, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a small bowl to combine. Season vinaigrette with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired.

Divide squash and pork among plates; spoon vinaigrette over. Top with cilantro leaves.


Fennel-Crusted Pork Chops With Potatoes And Shallots


1½ tablespoons fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 1-inch-thick bone-in pork loin chops (about 1¼ pounds total)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
2 large shallots, cut into quarters with some root attached
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar



Preheat oven to 450°. Toast fennel seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Let cool.

Combine fennel seeds, garlic, paprika, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl. Season pork with salt and pepper and place in a resealable plastic bag. Add spice mixture; seal bag and turn to coat. Let sit at least 30 minutes.

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Cook pork chops until golden brown on 1 side, about 4 minutes; turn. Add potatoes and shallots to skillet; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat in pan drippings. Cook, tossing potatoes and shallots occasionally, until pork is golden brown on second side, about 4 minutes.

Transfer to oven and roast until potatoes are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chops registers 135°, 10–15 minutes. (If potatoes need more time, transfer chops to a plate and continue to roast potatoes until tender; transfer chops back to skillet when potatoes are done.) Remove skillet from oven and mix in parsley and vinegar. Let pork chops rest 5 minutes in skillet.

Transfer chops to a cutting board; cut meat from bones and slice against the grain. Serve with potatoes, shallots, and any pan juices.


Posted by Mack Oates at 1:45 PM