Perfect pork chops, mashed cauliflower, salad, and a glass of wine is the ideal date night in! Thanks to Alexia Foods, this dinner comes together in under 30 minutes!
This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Alexia. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Hungry by Nature and the brands that make it possible!
I don’t want to get all mushy on you guys today, but I might for just a minute.
Pat and I started dating at the beginning of our senior year at Marquette. Our first date was on my birthday and we went out for brunch at Twisted Fork in Milwaukee – HE got a breakfast quesadilla and SHE got a breakfast panini. I was totally 100% super awkward (seriously, Pat will attest to this), but it was the start of the best part of my life.
We spent the majority of senior year going on dates. And not college dates – the kind where you pick up Chipotle for dinner, hang out, and watch a movie at someone’s apartment. I’m talking real dates – the kind where he picks you up in his car and takes you to dinner and kisses you goodnight on your doorstep when he drops you off. You know, the good stuff.
After we got married, we talked a lot about how we didn’t want to stop dating each other. I mean, why stop?! And I can honestly say that going on dates with Pat is my all-time favorite activity.
Ok, I’ll stop with the mushy stop. And let’s be furreal for a second. Going out on dates all the time is amazing but also expensive. And sometimes it’s better to hang out in your jams then get all dolled up for a night out.
Pat and I started a Friday night tradition – Date Night In! We usually make dinner, have a glass of wine (or two), and watch a movie or catch up on Netflix. It is such a great way to wind down from the week and connect with each other.
For our last Date Night In, we made my perfect pork chops with Alexia Foods starch alternatives and a salad!
Now there are three things that make this dinner GREAT.
- Perfect Pork Chops are tender and juicy thanks to a quick brine. This brine helps tenderize the meat and it holds in the moisture.
- Mashed Cauliflower from Alexia Foods. This is the easiest and tastiest complete side dish to pair with the chops! All you have to do is reheat the contents of the package (and not add anything else!) and then serve. PLUS, mashed cauliflower is a great alternative to starchy mashed potatoes.
- Date night with ma boo.
I’ve been loving Alexia‘s new premium side dishes because they are all non-GMO, gluten free (duh!), and those that contain dairy use organic dairy products. It’s amazing when a product that is simple – in terms of ingredients and ease of cooking – can make dinner so extraordinary!
Made these Perfect Pork Chops with Mashed Cauliflower and post a picture on social media using the hashtag #imhungrybynature for a chance to be featured!
- 3 cups cold water, divided
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 2 pork chops — ¾-inch to 1-inch thick (about ½ pound each)
- Olive oil
- 1 package Alexia Foods Mashed Cauliflower
- Brine the pork chops: Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil, add the salt stirring to dissolve. Add remaining 2 cups of cold water to bring the temperature of the brine down to room temperature. Place the pork chops in a shallow dish and pour the brine over top. The brine should cover the chops — if not, add additional water and salt (1 cup water to 1 tablespoon salt) until the chops are submerged. Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Place a cast iron skillet in the oven on the middle rack and preheat to 400°F.
- Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Drizzle both sides with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Using oven mitts, remove the hot skillet from the oven and set it over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add the pork chops in the hot skillet. You should hear them immediately begin to sizzle. Sear until the undersides of the chops are seared golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the pork chops and transfer to the oven.
- Roast until the pork chops are cooked through and register 140°F to 145°F in the thickest part of the meat with a thermometer. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the chops. Start checking the chops at 10 minutes and continue checking every minute or two until the chops are cooked through.
- As the pork chops are cooking, prepare the Alexia Mashed Cauliflower according to package directions: simply heat in the microwave and stir!
- Transfer the cooked pork chops to a plate, tent loosely with foil and let the chops rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Don’t forget to pin this for later!