Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Smothered Pork Chops

Delicious, absolutely delicious.

I had a few good pork chops in the freezer and when dinner time came around I just didn't want to make them the same ol way, so I went in search of a good recipe and found one at Joelen's Culinary Adventures.

I did things a bit different, but for the most part I stuck with the recipe.

Smothered Pork Chops

Smothered Pork Chops
recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

3 ounces bacon (about 3 slices), cut into
1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
Vegetable oil
4 bone-in, rib-end pork chops,
1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
Ground black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, halved pole to pole and sliced thin (about 3 1/2 cups)
8 oz sliced white button mushrooms
2 tablespoons water
2 medium garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press or minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves plus some for garnish

Fry bacon in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in saucepan (you should have 2 tablespoons bacon fat; if not, supplement with vegetable oil).

Reduce heat to medium-low and gradually whisk flour into fat until smooth. Cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is light brown, about the color of peanut butter, about 5 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth in slow, steady stream; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally; cover and set aside off heat. (I didn't cook the mixture until light brown, I was in a hurry and didn't have time to waste)

Heat 1-tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until smoking, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, dry pork chops with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2-teaspoon pepper.

Brown chops in single layer until deep golden on first side, about 3 minutes. Flip chops and cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chops to large plate and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon oil, onions, mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and water to now-empty skillet. Using wooden spoon, scrape browned bits on pan bottom and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer.

Return chops to skillet in single layer, covering chops with onions and mushrooms.

Pour in warm sauce and any juices collected from pork; add bay leaves. (the recipe doesn't say to add the bacon back in, but come can't just get rid of bacon, I couldn't do it, so in it went and I'm so glad I did it)

Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until pork is tender and paring knife inserted into chops meets very little resistance, about 30 minutes.

Smothered Pork Chops

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Lemon Pie by the Yard

Forget about making a dozen pies for a big gathering, just make one big one.

I recently hosted a BBQ and was looking for a dessert to serve 9 people but that wouldn't make me sit in the kitchen for too long, that's when I came across this wonderful recipe from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. They are amazing.


Lemon Pie by the Yard
Credit: Mennonite Girls Can Cook


recipe for two pie crusts
2 packages of lemon pie filling or double homemade
6 beaten egg whites for meringue
1/2 cup sugar for meringue


1. Pat pastry into rectangular shape, on floured surface then roll out to size of cookie sheet - actually a little more.
2. Roll up onto rolling pin and unroll unto cookie sheet. Trim edges where they are too high and add pieces where it is too low. (cut and paste)


3. Bake until golden at 400 F about 15 min.
4. Meanwhile, cook pie filling according to package instructions, or make homemade
5. Pour cooked filling into baked shell and let cool slightly while beating egg whites
6. Beat egg whites, gradually adding 1/2 cup sugar. Beat just until they are glossy and will stand up if dabbed with a spoon. Do not over-beat, because it will not spread nicely


7. Spread evenly onto pie crust, making sure the meringue touches the side crusts. For wave design, dab meringue with the back of a spoon.
8. Bake at 400 F for 7 - 8 min until golden.


Some like it served while still a little warm, but it does need to sit for several hours first. Refrigerate if not serving the same day. No need to cover, because the crust will keep better.

* NOTE - To keep meringue from sticking to knife while cutting, dip knife into hot water or run under hot tap water


BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad

I've been so busy around here lately and haven't had a chance to come in and post any recipes, but boy do I have some good ones to share.

BLT Pasta Salad

With summer here we've been outside and enjoying the warm weather, which means Barbecuing a lot and with that comes new this amazing BLT Pasta Salad which I promise will be a hit.

So quick and easy to fix and you will not only get thumbs up but tons of requests for the recipe.

BLT Pasta Salad


  • 1 lb. rotini (or other pasta shape), cooked and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 bottle Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lb. bacon, diced and cooked crisp
  • 1/2 head lettuce, diced

In a large bowl, toss together pasta, Ranch dressing and black pepper. Stir in tomatoes and bacon.

BLT Pasta Salad

Refrigerate until serving then stir in the lettuce until coated. Or, stir in the lettuce and serve immediately.

BLT Pasta Salad