Hello, all. It's Monday again. You know, that oft-despised day that like an insensitive friend interrupts your weekend before you can truly relax. Monday represents a return to daily grinds, insufficient sleep and rush hour traffic.
Depending on how refreshing your weekend was, you will feel one of two ways come Monday evening: 1) eager to dominate the rest of the week or 2) grumpy, tired and uninspired.
In either of those cases, I have a ridiculously simple and fast recipe for your Monday night (or any night) arsenal. It's basic, but super tasty. This means you can follow the recipe as is, or jazz it up with a myriad of toppings or sauces. It's incredibly adaptable.
Here are two examples where I added to the basic recipe.
In this version, I took the drippings left over and made a beer pan sauce with diced onion. Oh my gosh it was yummy, yummy, yummy.
Here, I've topped the pork chop with homemade peach salsa and cilantro. The peach salsa was good, but I was impatient so didn't give the peaches enough time to ripen before making it. In result, the salsa was less flavorful. Don't be impatient, like me!
And while I'm at it, here's a picture of the center-cut pork chops before cooking, when they've just been rubbed with seasonings.
The highlight of this recipe, though, is the super quick cooking time. About 4-5 minutes total.I discovered this recipe several months ago, when I had freshly moved to Dallas. Thankfully I stumbled upon Elise Bauer's lovely website. Wish I knew about it earlier.
If you have a more extensive spice collection in your kitchen, make sure to click over to the original recipe. I adapted it based on what seasonings I normally carry, but would like to know how the original recipe's flavor is in comparison.
One last thing, if you don't own one already, get yourself a cast-iron skillet. It's hands down one of the best kitchen tools I own. It ensures everything is heated evenly, aids with searing and can go directly into the oven from the stove top. That makes it perfect for all kinds of dishes seared steak and chicken pot pie. Plus, cast-iron skillets are inexpensive and literally last a lifetime or two as long as you take care of it. You can get a quality, American made skillet here.
Simple Pan-Fried Pork Chops
A quick and simple pork chop recipe that will save you time in the kitchen. The result is a juicy, seared pork chop can be topped with a myriad of sauces or salsas.
Slightly Adapted from Elise Bauer's Mom's Perfect Pork Chops
Serves: 2 (can easily be doubled; tripling will require a second pan or increased overall cooking time)
2 center-cut pork chops (look for all natural, humanely raised pork, if possible)
1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil (where to find quality oils)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon organic sugar
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt (I recommend Pink Himalayan, Celtic or Utah sourced salt)
Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high/high. Either mix all dry seasonings together and rub 1/4 teaspoon across each side of both pork chops or add 1/4 teaspoon of each seasoning one at time to both sides of each pork chop (if doing this, make sure to rub the seasonings together on the meat).
Add olive oil to the pan, which should be very hot by now. This is necessary for a good sear. After a minute, when the pan is almost smoking, add both pork chops with the thick, boned side facing inward.
Setting a kitchen timer, or watching a clock carefully, cook the pork chops for two minutes. Don't walk away. This is a fast process. Flip the chops, then (if using a cast-iron skillet) turn the heat off, BUT keep it on the same hot burner. Since cast-iron retains heat well, it will continue cooking at the same temp. [If you're using a non-stick or stainless steel pan, keep the heat on!] Cook the other side for an additional two to two and a half minutes, then remove chops from pan and let them rest 5-10 minutes, wrapped loosely in foil.
Voila! Feel free to season the drippings and make a pan sauce! Yum!
Real Food Resources
Real Food Survival Guide For Busy Moms
"This e-book is perfect for busy folks who need help maximizing their time in the kitchen so they can fix nutritious, real food snacks and meals to eat at home and on the go. In addition to realistic advice, this book provides recipes for real food staples you can make in bulk ahead of time, which ensures you always have nutrient dense foods at hand. And it’s especially helpful if you’re interested in implementing homemade fermented foods into your diet."
From Scratch: Easy Recipes for Traditionally Prepared Whole-Food Dishes
"If you're looking for a cookbook that is as entertaining as it is delicious, then look no further. From Scratch is a breath of fresh air when it comes to learning how to traditionally prepare and cook nutritious food. Shaye does not disappoint in her recipes and this cookbook reads like a letter from a close friend. These meals are easily prepared and yes, easily devoured."
Question for Discussion: What's your favorite way to eat pork chops?
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