Creamy Whiskey Pork Chops with Rutabaga Mash

This has been a standard for Farmer B and I for years. Originally based off this recipe , I have adapted and simplified it over the years, to suite our needs and likes. My kids enjoy this dish as much as we do (don’t worry, the alcohol from the whiskey cooks off entirely!), I mean, who doesn’t like pork chops and mushrooms in a creamy sauce over mashed potatoes. Truly a stick to your ribs, comfort food night!

In this recipe, I pair it with some seasonal rutabaga available from a neighboring local farm. Rutabaga’s are in the brassica family (brassica napus which is a cross between a cabbage and turnip), so do have some bitterness to them, but they’re also a root vegetable and can have some of that sweetness if you know how to prepare them right! I do a 50/50 split with rutabaga and Yukon gold potatoes to achieve a similar but slightly different taste and feel to your normal mashed potato side.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do!

For the Pork Chops

  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh thyme leaves 
  • 1-2 TB EVOO 
  • 2 TB butter 
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped 
  • ½ cup whiskey
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • Chicken stock/water to thin sauce if desired or needed

Rosemary Rutabaga Mash

  • 1 lb rutabaga, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 TB butter, plus more for serving
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled (keep whole)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Splash of cream or milk for mashing

Directions:

1. Season pork chops with salt, pepper and fresh thyme leaves on both sides. Let sit while you prep your ingredients.

2. In a large pot, boil rutabaga and potatoes until fork tender, about 25 minutes. 

3. Meanwhile, in a small wide saucepan, brown the butter. On medium, let the butter melt and then continue cooking. It will start foaming and then milk solids will drop to the bottom and the butter will start to smell nutty and delicious. This takes about 5 to 10 minutes depending on your heat. Keep a watch and don’t let it burn! Once it’s browned and smelling great, remove from heat and drop the rosemary springs and garlic cloves in — they will sizzle. Swirl to combine and set aside to let the rosemary and garlic infuse into the butter. 

4. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium- high heat. Brown the pork chops for three minutes on each side to create a nice, brown crust. Remove from the pan and set onto a plate. Cover with foil. Set aside. This is the initial step to create flavor, but you will complete the cooking later.

5. Turn the heat down a bit to medium, and melt butter in the same cast iron skillet used for the chops. Add the onions and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about eight minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms release some liquid and onions are well-cooked and browning. 

6. Turn the heat back up to high and deglaze the pan with the whiskey, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. After about a minute and the alcohol has cooked off, turn the heat to low. There should still be some liquid, you don’t want it to evaporate entirely. Add the sour cream and stir to combine. Taste to adjust your seasonings, and when you’re satisfied, place your pork chops and any accumulated liquid back in your pan. Cover with foil and let it cook on your lowest setting while you finish your mashed rutabaga. 

7. Strain the rutabaga and potatoes, and place back in the same pot. Discard the rosemary and garlic from the browned butter and add any remaining butter to the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and start to mash. If you need more liquid, slowly add only a splash of milk/cream. Rutabagas have a higher water content than potatoes so you’ll find you don’t need as much liquid when mashing them. Keep mashing to desired consistency and taste as you go. 

8. Test your pork chops to ensure they’re done cooking. If you’re a temp person, you’re looking for an internal 145 degrees, and if you’re a feeling kinda person you can test by pressing for firmness to your liking. 

9. Load your plate with mashed rutabaga, top with a pork chop and a heart helping of the creamy mushrooms and onions. We served it with a Caesar salad!

Sheet Pan Sweet Potato Gnocchi

This was first featured on the Clemson Area Food Exchange newsletter in October 2021.

Recipe and pictures by Amanda Callahan, Edited by Ellie Sharp

I’m a big fan of “sheet pan” meals — those glorious, easy-peasy all-in-one dishes perfect for quick and healthy dinners. They are incredibly versatile and (mostly) require minimal attention. Think of them as an ideal “clean out the fridge” technique great for pairing local ingredients you often don’t know what to do with: combine proteins, veggies, and starches however you feel moved. I love putting fresh greens on the top toward the end of cooking, too, like in this recipe! 

My friend recently passed along a huge sweet potato from his garden, and I had a bunch of radicchio that I honestly didn’t have a plan for but was excited to use. I thought both would pair well with sausage and debated how to proceed. I was leaning towards a soup, but then remembered I had a couple packages of cauliflower gnocchi in the freezer, and I LOVE roasted gnocchi. Whether it’s frozen cauliflower gnocchi or the shelf stable potato based gnocchi, if you haven’t tried roasting it, you’re missing out my friends! Gnocchi is traditionally boiled like pasta, but when roasted the edges become brown and toasty taking on a nutty flavor that is perfection when paired with fall flavors like sweet potatoes and sage. 

Try this easy sheet pan meal this week and make sure to snap a pic and tag us on social media! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced 
  • 1 onion, sliced 
  • 2 packages of cauliflower gnocchi (10 oz each), frozen, or 1 package of potato gnocchi (16 oz.)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (about 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper)
  • About 10 sage leaves, chiffonade (sliced thinly)
  • 2 stalks of rosemary, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 bunch of local radicchio, sliced into ribbons or substitute kale
  • Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Use two sheet pans (pictured here is just one, however, my sheet pans are full sized and most people have half sized, so use two for better browning of ingredients) and cover each with a Silpat mat, parchment paper, or aluminum foil. 
  3. Place sweet potatoes, onion, and gnocchi onto the pans. Drizzle everything with two tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, garlic, and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Toss everything to combine. Spread out evenly. Break up the sausage with your hands and nestle small pieces of the sausage among the potatoes and gnocchi. 
  4. Place it in the oven for 25 minutes. The sweet potatoes and gnocchi should be beginning to brown. 
  5. In a small bowl, toss the radicchio with the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. 
  6. Remove pans from the oven. Toss all the ingredients on the sheet pans. Scatter radicchio on top. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional five minutes until the radicchio starts to crisp on the edges. 
  7. Remove and serve with cheese and crushed red pepper, if desired. 

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup with Guanciale and Celery Salad Topping

First featured on Clemson Area Food Exchange newsletter
Recipe and photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms, Edited and words by Ellie Sharp

Ready for another super easy, super versatile and super delicious recipe? Keep on reading! I love roasted turnips: the cooking process brings out the sweetness of this misunderstood root veggie and makes them approachable for those who shy away. That said, turnips do tend to have a “love ‘em or hate ‘em” reputation, so I wanted to make something that would be appealing to fans and could-be fans alike. Soup seemed a natural place to start with its cozy vibe well-suited for our current cold temperatures.

But, how could I make unconvinced turnip eaters more interested? Enter the ever-popular garden darlings: potatoes and carrots. By pureeing and blending the turnips with these beloved add-ins, you get the best of both worlds: full, rich flavor without the pronounced turnip twang. Win!

If you’re still unsure, let me give you a little firm-but-polite nudge. Put your support-the-farmers-money-where-your-mouth-is, step outside your comfort zone and bring a variety of vegetables and meat cuts into your home. Buy the turnips, grab and cure the pork jowl and let’s get these overlooked items onto your plate! 

Pro tip: Save all your resulting veggie peelings to make stock. Keep a freezer bag in your freezer and add onion, carrot and celery peelings/ends until it’s full. Mushroom stems, some potato peelings and herbs stems are other great additions, but steer clear of brassica items (cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc.). Once the bag is full, add to a large pot or stock pot with leftover bones, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer on low for three to four hours (or longer if you wish). Add water as needed to keep ingredients covered while they cook. Strain and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
2 turnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 pounds carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large onion or several small, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, leaves removed and saved, cut into large chunks
2 heads of garlic
1 handful of roasting blend of fresh herbs, chopped (or more to taste)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 slices guanciale or thick-cut bacon, sliced into lardons (small strips or cubes)
6 cups stock
½ lemon, juiced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. On a large rimmed sheet pan, layer all the vegetables in a single layer, using two pans if you must (you won’t get the charred edges with an overcrowded pan). Drizzle with oil, season aggressively with salt, pepper, and herbs. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until charred in spots, flipping and rotating pan halfway through cooking time.
  3. While the vegetables cook, mince the celery leaves and place in a small bowl. Add lemon juice and cracked black pepper. Mix thoroughly, set aside.
  4. In a large soup pot set over medium heat, crisp the jowl or bacon pieces. Remove from heat, set aside. Remove all but 1-2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot. 
  5. When the vegetables are done, place in a high-power blender with 2 cups of stock and puree until smooth. Alternatively, put vegetables and stock into the soup pot and use an immersion blender to puree.
  6. Pour the puree into the soup pot and set to low heat. Add the rest of the stock and simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Adjust seasoning to your liking.

To serve: ladle soup into bowls. Top each with crispy guanciale or bacon pieces and a scoop of the celery leaf salad. I also was thinking a chili oil would perk it up nicely as well. Enjoy!

Substitutions: The vegetables are pretty interchangeable here. Try rutabaga, squash — whatever you’ve got in the fridge that needs to be used. If you’re vegetarian/vegan, replace the pork with chickpeas roasted in a hot oven until crispy and browned.