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Collard Greens & Pork Chops with Mac & Cheese + V. Sattui = Delicious!

Attempting to take a different approach, I took a couple of standby comfort dishes—collard greens, pork chops & macaroni and cheese and approached the recipe in a manner that involved different techniques and ingredients.  When making a pot of greens, it is easy to use it as the focus dish and revolve the rest of the meal around those greens.

These recipes are pretty simple but the techniques have been changed to protect the innocent. I have replaced all ingredients with stunt-doubles and I definitely consumed alcohol during this production.

Ingredients for the Collard Greens

  • 14 oz. package of triple washed, cleaned and cut Collards or two unwashed bunches cleaned and cut
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 large turnip peeled and cut into eighths
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 2 cups roasted chicken stock
  • Franks Louisiana Hot sauce (as much as you can stand)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sweat (meaning cook until translucent) mirapoix (carrots, celery, onion) with ham hock and turnip.  Add greens, stock and hot sauce. Simmer until tender.

Collard Greens

Since the greens will be cooking for a while, make your time count. I had a couple of hours on hand so I decided to smoke some loin chops and locally made sausages.  Nothing tastes and smells more like comfort to me than some smoked meat.

Bacon wrapped loin chops and sausages

I don’t usually recommend smoking loin chops unless you wrap them in peppered bacon and keep them moist with wine, beer or whiskey.  Any or all will work. The links and chops smoked with hickory for three hours at 256 degrees turns out well.

Using up some ricotta cheese was the second task I was hoping to accomplish and this take on Mac and Cheese adds some elegance and texture to one of the most replicated dishes in America.  A great thing about this version is that it is easy to add other ingredients like chopped, cooked bacon or tomatoes and green onions. Get crazy and have a blast.

Start with heating your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your béchamel sauce.  Cook your pasta then drain but do not rinse. Gather up the following and assemble your masterpiece.

Ingredients for the Mac & Cheese

  • 12 oz. Ricotta
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Béchamel Sauce at room temperature
  • 1 lb. cooked Farfalle Pasta (any shape you like will work)
  • 1 lb. mixed shredded cheese (A Swiss, mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan blend is my personal favorite)
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce or more if your scoville threshold will allow it

Eggs, ricotta and spices

Mix eggs, ricotta, all spices and tobacco sauce in large mixing bowl until well blended. Stir in béchamel sauce and mix in the shredded cheese.  Add pasta.  Stir well, pour mixture into a large wide baking pan, and bake at 350F until cooked through with an internal temperature at 180F.

mac and cheese

The pictures almost do the recipes justice but what really makes this meal rock are the wine pairings. We recently received samples from a prestigious Napa winery V. Sattui.

V. Sattui Gilsson Vineyard Zinfandel

They only sell their wine at the winery but with the advent of this internet thing and some laws changing that permit wineries to sell direct to consumers, you can have it shipped directly to your house.  Try the V. Sattui Zinfandel or Petite Sirah—equally tasty with these dishes. Enjoy!

Collard Greens & Pork Chops with Mac & Cheese

 

This post was written by:

- who has written 393 posts on Enobytes Wine Online.

Marc has over twenty years experience in the food & wine industry and is committed to celebrating hospitality with pride. He is a wine blogger contributor to OregonLive.com (Wine Bytes) and has also appeared on Portland's "Vine Time" on News Radio 750 KXL and on California's Central Coast "From the Growing of the Grape to the Glass" on KUHL-AM 1410. He is also the author of A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy. Follow Marc on twitter @macdaddy_m

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13 Responses to “Collard Greens & Pork Chops with Mac & Cheese + V. Sattui = Delicious!”

  1. Sicoes says:

    I grew up on canned and processed food and I appreciate fresh ingredients. But what is a shame is that most don’t understand collard greens. They are so fresh and flavorful! Good recipe Marc.

  2. Kerry says:

    Great paintings!

  3. I’m consistently on the hunt for new recipes. I like to keep a “preferences list” and also return to them when I’m in the mood for something new to attempt. I have actually gathered very a list so far, and I think I like this one enough to put it on the list.

  4. Andrew Pelt says:

    please share these recipes!

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  2. [...] Fourth of July fare and will go well with real smoked BBQ brisket, pulled pork or ribs. And the sides should be cole slaw, southern style collard greens and the most all American dish I can th…. Enjoy the [...]

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