Welcome to another Foodie Tuesday! Today I'm going to share a quick, easy, and gorgeous meal with you. I make this all the time, I hope you like it!
A few Sundays ago I needed a QUICK "Sunday" meal. By quick I mean,
Ever have those days?
Here's my go-to for a quick, "fancy", delicious meal, all made with ingredients that I have on-hand! Note: I am not a very good cook, so I'm sure I'm doing a lot of this wrong. Just know that it hasn't killed us yet, it actually tastes good, and in my mind there is rhyme and reason to my methods :) Aight?
Here's what you need:
- Pork chops
- I stock up on these when they are a good price, freeze them in baggies of 3 or 4 chops, and write the date on the bags. I vacuum seal them and they keep FOREVER in the freezer.
- I buy the huge bags from Costco and keep them in the fridge. They last forever. Seriously, months and months.
- Whatever side you prefer
- Veggie, salad, rolls, wild rice, etc.
- Gravy flavoring or bullion flavoring
Here's how you do it:
- Thaw your chops.
- I usually need these to thaw FAST so I'll keep them in their freezer bag (I have a vacuum sealer that I seal my meat in. LOVE LOVE LOVE it), put them in a dish of warm to hot water, and let them sit. I know some people say this is a no no, but hey, it works for me! Every once in a while I'll dump out the (now cold) water, refill it with warmish/hotish water, and flip the bag of chops over. They seriously thaw out sooo fast.
- Season ONE SIDE of your chops.
- I like to do crushed rosemary, and I also have an amazing rosemary garlic seasoning that I'll use. A little salt/pepp, and you're done.
- Heat a big skillet on medium high and drizzle some olive oil in it once it heats up a bit.
- You don't need much, just a few tablespoons or so. You can always add a little later if needed.
- Put the seasoned side of your chops down in the pan. NOW season the other side.
- I do this so all your seasonings don't come off in the glass dish it thawed in!
- Leave it on medium-high (I leave it on number 6 or 7 out of 10). Let your chops sizzle, pop, and fry for a few minutes - maybe 4-5.
- It. Will. Splatter. A lot.
- I have these nifty metal mesh splatter guards that help. A bit of splattery oil gets through still, but at least it won't burn you.
- If your side dish is quick, get that started now. Here are a few tips for my favorite QUICK sides:
- For frozen veggies: Put a few tablespoons of water in the bottom of a microwave-safe dish. Put your frozen veggies on top of the water. Cover (I use a plastic plate) and microwave for 3 minutes on high. This will steam them to perfection.
- I do my green beans for 4 minutes because they are generally tougher.
- Bread or rolls: Get a bread maker. Enough said. My mom bought me one from a thrift store for $4 and it came with the instruction booklet and recipe booklet. I use it any time I have to make dough. You simply throw in the ingredients, forget about it, and 1.5 hrs later you have dough that's been kneaded and risen for you! Shape the dough how you want, bake on a tray in the oven, and enjoy.
- Rice: I like using wild or brown rice when I have time, white rice when I'm in a hurry. Cook as directed, or you can simply throw it in a rice cooker (my favorite method). I like to add a little chicken bouillon for flavor. I just throw a few teaspoons in the water before I even start to cook the rice.
- Potatoes: To do baked potatoes I'll do them two ways:
- Quick method: Wash them off, pat them dry, stab them a few times with a fork, then microwave on high 5 minutes. Flip them over, do 5 minutes more. Add more time as-needed.
- Longer method, but just as easy: Wash/dry them, stab with a fork, then put in a 400 degree oven for 1-1.5 hours. I don't wrap them in foil or anything.
Other than mashed potatoes, my husbands favorite way to eat them is like this:
- I wash them, pat them dry, then dice them up small (I did really small this time because I needed them to cook FAST). Put them in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat them all. Add seasonings (I do rosemary, garlic, and a little salt). Mix until evenly coated. Broil on low in the oven (on the middle rack or lower). The time depends on how many potatoes you have, and how small you diced them. Just keep an eye on them. When they start to get a little brown on one side, stir the potatoes and put them back in. Check them by poking with a fork. Broil until they are soft and yummy.
Now that the sides are taken care of...
- After your chops have been sizzling, flip them over. You want the side to be browned. If it's not yet, just let them sizzle for a minute or two longer. Sometimes I might add a little more oil if the first side soaked it all up.
Doesn't that look delish already?
- Brown the other side the same way. By this time they should be pretty close to being cooked through. Cut with a knife, make sure there is NO PINK. If there is pink, turn down your heat a bit and let them sizzle until cooked through.
- I put them in a dish with a lid to keep them warm until my sides are done, if they aren't already.
- Once your chops are removed, you are going to use the yummy stuff left behind in your pan to make some easy gravy! My husband LOVES gravy with his chops.
- I buy this stuff from Costco and love it. They have both brown and poultry flavoring.
- In the still-hot pan I just add some water (I start with about 2C), gravy seasoning to taste (a few good hearty shakes of the container), and cornstarch throughout the process to get it to the thickness I want.
- I like cornstarch better than flour because flour has such a strong taste, in my opinion.
- Keep the heat on medium-high. Add water and whisk the yummy bits and grease off the bottom of the pan.
- Add a few good shakes of the seasoning,
- Keep the heat up,
- And keep whisking until it's how you like it! Add more water if it's too thick, cornstarch if it's too thin, and seasoning if it's too bland. It's pretty hard to mess this one up, which is why I make it this way.
I add my cornstarch just a teaspoon or two at a time. It tends to thicken up on its own.
- Once the gravy and chops were done, I checked my potatoes. They were perfect. We like to eat these with ketchup, just fyi.
- I steamed some frozen veggies, and had a complete, gorgeous meal!
Next time you see pork chops on sale, grab a bunch and keep them on hand for a quick, easy, tasty dinner. Happy saving - and cooking - to you!