Skillet Pork Chops with Rice and Parsley Butter

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With our schedules as hectic as they’ve been lately, I’ve not done a great job of getting dinner on the table.  We’ve certainly kept the local restaurants in business as of late.  You know it’s bad when my tiny man, who is normally a big fan of Chinese takeout, politely requests a ham and cheese sandwich over chicken with broccoli.  Or, when the husband comes upstairs after work and doesn’t ask what’s for dinner, but where we’re ordering from tonight.  So, in an effort to minimize complaining and save our budget and waistlines, I’ve been on a quest to find quick weeknight meals that are healthy and delicious.

One thing I always have on hand in the freezer is pork chops.  I always stock up when the local grocery store has the buy one get one free sales.  When I saw this recipe, I was intrigued.  On the table in 30 minutes AND the side dish is included?  Count me in!  This was such a simple dinner to make, and, much to my surprise, full of flavor and delicious!  Everyone enjoyed it, even baby boy who, up until two months ago, wouldn’t eat anything other than baby food and yogurt.  That’s a win in my book!

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 cup long-grain white rice
4 (6- to 8-oz) boneless pork chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

In a small bowl, stir 2 tablespoons of the butter together with the parsley. Set aside.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine 1 cup of the chicken broth and the rice. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 6-7 minutes, or until the liquid has been completely absorbed (note: all microwaves vary, so keep an eye and maybe check yours early just in case). Be very careful when you remove the plastic wrap from the bowl, the steam is super hot!

While the rice is cooking, pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Cut two slits, about 2 inches apart, in the fat cap around the outside edge of each pork chop (this will prevent them from curling up as they cook). Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper. Set a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. When it’s melted and the pan is hot, add the chops. Brown on both sides, about 6-8 minutes total. Remove the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil.

Add the final tablespoon of butter to the skillet and melt, then add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 6-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and thyme, cooking just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the rice and the remaining 1 1/4 cups of chicken broth to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil, the nestle the pork chops and any accumulated juices in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Cook for 10-14 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the pork is cooked to your desired doneness (it should register at least 145 F on an instant read thermometer). Top the pork with the parsley butter when serving.

Source:  Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, orginially from Cooks Country, August/September 2011

Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce

My mom HATES any kind of fruit pared with meat, so growing up, the thought always disgusted me as well.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to be more intrigued by the combination and have set out to try some savory dishes that incorporate fruit as well.  I bookmarked this recipe awhile ago knowing the husband would probably love it, and I finally got around to making it, thanks to the dried cherries I had leftover from my planned Christmas baking that never happened. 

If I didn’t enjoy the meat/fruit combo before, I certainly do now!  This was phenomenal – quick, easy, and very tasty.  I had it on the table in about 15 minutes.  Absolute perfection.  The only change I made was using lean pork chops instead of the pork tenderloin because that’s what I had on hand.

Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce

4 boneless pork chops, trimmed of all visible fat
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dried tart cherries

Season the pork  chops with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat and cook the meat until there is just a slight blush in the center about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate and tent with foil.

Add the remaining teaspoon of oil and the shallots to the pan and saute until they begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the cherries and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the sauce over the pork chops and serve.

Source:  Ellie Krieger via Food Network’s Website

Garlic Marinated Pork Chops – AKA “Robot Steak”

So, you’re wondering what in the world these pork chops have to do with “robot steak”, right?  Here’s the short story.  The toddler man was watching a Sesame Street episode that involved robots, and he spent the better part of the day I made these pretending he was a robot.  ALL.DAY.LONG.  It’s cute for about the first 10 minutes, then it gets mindnumbingly annoying.  But we never thought the day would come when robots were allowed in our home, so I roll with it.  Anyway, as I was putting these under the broiler, he exclaimed very excitedly, “Robot Joe is VERY excited for robot steak!”.  Hilarious.

Now, the reason all of this robot stuff is quite amusing is that he used to be TERRIFIED of robots.  Starting at about 18 months old, he would screech in terror every.single.time he saw a robot, especially the ones on Sesame Street.  We started recording all of the episodes and previewing them (on fast forward) after he would go to bed to make sure there were no robot episodes anywhere ever.  This lasted until about 4 months ago when he exclaimed that he now loved robots.  To the point that he has requested a robot party for his 4th birthday in June.  I’m still befuddled about this, but we’re planning a robot party for June.

By the way, these pork chops were insanely easy, and insanely good.  I like that combination.  A little bit of spicy, but still very kid friendly.  Don’t skimp on the salt either…I forgot to add it, and they would have been much, much better with it.

Garlic Marinated Pork Chops – AKA “Robot Steak”

4 (6 oz each) lean boneless pork chop
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 lime, juice of
lime zest
salt and fresh pepper

Trim any fat off pork. In a large bowl season pork with garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Squeeze lime juice and some zest from the lime and let it marinade at least 20 minutes.

Line broiler pan with foil for easy clean up. Place pork chops on the broiler pan and broil about 4-5 minutes on each side or until nicely browned.

Source:  Skinnytaste

 

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Sometimes some of the best recipes are so simple.  These pulled pork sandwiches are the definition of simple and delicious.  Pork roast in the slow cooker with root beer all day, then drain, shred the pork and add your favorite barbecue sauce.  Heat through and done.  Happy delicious meal on the table with very little work.  I’ve been making these since before the husband and I were married (and we’re coming up on our 6 year wedding anniversary), and now the toddler enjoys them as well.  I usually sprinkle the roast with some of Penzey’s BBQ 3000 seasoning for a little extra deliciousness.  Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

1 (2 pound) pork loin roast
1 (12 ounce) can or bottle root beer
1 (18 ounce) bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted

Place the pork in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.

Source:  Very slightly adapted from Allrecipes

Japanese-Style Crispy Pork

I think I’ve mentioned multiple times that I have a bit of an addiction to cookbooks.  Well, on top of that, I also have a bit of an addiction to magazine subscriptions, and most of those are food related.  I saw this recipe for Japanese-Style Crispy Pork in Food Network Magazine, and knew I had to give it a try.  This is a great weeknight dinner!  It’s a rare occasion when all three of us eat all of our dinner, and this one made all of us happy.  The toddler loved dipping his pork chops in the tonkatsu sauce (which was delicious!!), and he even ate quite a few cucumber spears.  The husband and I gobbled this down as well.  We had no leftovers.

Japanese-Style Crispy Pork

1 pound thin-cut boneless pork chops or cutlets, trimmed
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine, sake or sherry
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 medium cucumbers
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 large eggs
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3/4 cup cornstarch
Olive oil, for frying
1/4 cup tonkatsu sauce (a sweet-spicy Japanese dipping sauce, sold near the soy sauce; or make your own by mixing 2 tablespoons each ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and sugar with 1 tablespoon water.)

Season the pork with salt. Mix the rice wine and 1 teaspoon ginger and spread on the pork.  Stack the pork and set aside.

Peel, quarter and seed the cucumbers; cut into 4-inch spears.  Toss with the sugar and vinegar.  Toast the pepper flakes with 1 tablespoon salt in a skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes; set aside.

Beat the eggs with 1/2 cup water in a shallow bowl.  Put the panko and cornstarch in 2 separate shallow bowls.  Dredge each piece of pork in cornstarch, dip in egg, then coat with the panko.  Heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Fry the pork in batches until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

Sprinkle the cucumbers with some of the spiced salt.  Mix the tonkatsu sauce and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ginger in a bowl.  Serve the pork with the cucumbers and sauce.

Source:  Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Smothered Pork Chops

I’ve been making this recipe for Smothered Pork Chops for years now, and really enjoy it!  It  comes together quickly (especially since I replace the thicker, bone-in pork chops for thinner, boneless ones), and has a nice flavor.  I usually serve this with mashed potatoes (the sauce makes an excellent gravy!), but I was in a hurry and used noodles instead, which I actually liked better.  If you’re looking for a way to jazz up boring pork chops, give this recipe a shot!

Smothered Pork Chops

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 thin-cut, boneless pork chops
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup buttermilk
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.

 Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Source:  Slightly adapted from Food Network

Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili

Every year at the beginning of September, The Rookie Baker household gears up for college football season.  The husband is a HUGE Notre Dame fan, and our Satuday schedule for the next several months revolves around what time Notre Dame plays.  Since we’ve been together for almsot 10 years now, I am also a fairly diehard Notre Dame fan, and we are quickly recruiting the toddler.  To celebrate the opening game this year, I decided to make this chili recipe for the husband.  He saw it on Food Network months ago and has been asking for it quite a bit since then.  Since it was a football day and surprsingly cool for early September, it was the perfect time to try this.  I knew it wouldn’t be something I’d enjoy because (a) I’m not a fan of peppers, and (b) my morning sickness was pretty hardcore at that point.

I’ll tell you what, this smelled amazing, and had I been feeling better, I probably would have tried it!  The husband LOVED it!  I only made a few minor adjustments to the recipe based on what I had on hand.  I highly recommend trying this out on a cool fall day!

Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili

6 slices center-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 cup beer (we used Miller Lite)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
Sour cream, for garnish
Shredded Cheddar, for garnish
Sliced jalapenos, for garnish

In large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly crisp, stirring occasionally. Once the bacon is browned, add the garlic, onions, bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, ancho chili powder, oregano, and paprika and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender and seasonings are aromatic. Add the beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Once beef is broken up and beginning to brown, add the pork. Break up with wooden spoon like the beef, and brown, until no longer pink, roughly 4 minutes. Stir in the beer and beans. Toss together, then add the crushed tomatoes. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer the chili to serving bowls and garnish with sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced jalapenos.

Source:  Adapted from Food Network