Bustin’ Out the Chops
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been avoiding the use of photos in my posts for quite a while now. The reasons are painful and twofold:
1. My favorite lens is still busted. I don’t feel justified in sending it in to have it fixed until I have an actual job.
2. Since my computer broke when I went to Miami, I haven’t yet reloaded Photoshop onto it. My kitchen tends to be pretty dark when I cook (and has a weird mixture of recessed and under-cabinet lighting, which makes the photos look a little strange. I like to use Photoshop to fix the color.
But today? Screw it. I need some pictures in my life. It’s been far too long. So PLEASE ignore the strange colors.
I managed to find some photos of a recipe I made awhile back when we had guests from out-of-town. I’m sure they thought I was a complete nut, cooking away in the kitchen and pausing every few minutes to take a picture. Because, you know – I’m that good.
I tend to freak out a little when I have to make something for other people. Why? Because I have this annoying habit of screwing up in the kitchen. A LOT. But I’m usually good about laughing at myself when that happens, and Justin will eat just about anything. It’s a little different, however, when you have other people – other hungry people – depending on you for their sustenance as well.
So I made my “fall-back” company recipe that always goes over well if I have non-vegetarian guests. It’s actually my mom’s recipe, and I love how old-school it is.
Baby, it’s PORK CHOP TIME!
First, you’ll need a big ol’ one of these:
(Like I said before, please ignore the odd color of these photos. It’s the crazy lighting in my kitchen and lack of Photoshop.)
Wow. Is anyone getting turned on?
No? It’s just me?
This is a pork loin. So technically I made pork loin, not pork chops – but this recipe works just as well with about 4 chops.
And actually, I’m not positive if this is one loin split lengthwise into 2, or if this is 2 skinny loins. Hey, I just buy the meat and cook it. I don’t claim to be an expert.
So you see how it’s split lengthwise down the middle? Just chop each of these strips up into little pork medallions. They end up all small and adorable, and they cook much quicker this way than larger pork chops.
Here’s what else you need:
- 2 c. (about 3 slices) of bread, ripped into small cubes
- 2 Tbsp. chopped onion (or the equivalent of dry minced onion)
- 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 1/3 c. Marsala wine (this is usually found in the grocery aisle with all of the cooking wines/vinegars)
- 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can of cream of mushroom soup
1. Go ahead and get your oven preheated to 350-degrees F.
2. Put some type of large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat, and grease it with a piece of fat from your pork.
3. When the skillet is good and sizzlin’, brown the medallions for a couple a minutes on each side. (Do this in batches if you can’t fit them all at once.) Once they’re browned, place them in a single layer in a shallow casserole dish.
*I actually should’ve had my skillet a bit hotter – you want the meat to be more brown than gray, and it should sear fairly quickly. You don’t want these to cook through on the stove because you’ll be baking them in the oven.
4. In a small bowl, combine the 2 cups of soft bread cubes, 2 tablespoons of onion, 1/4 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, 2 tablespoons of water, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Smush this stuffing-like substance together with your fingers, and press it firmly onto the tops of the pork medallions.
5. Combine the 1/3 cup of Marsala wine with the can of cream of mushroom soup, and spoon the mixture over each of the medallions.
6. Then just pop ’em in the oven for 30 minutes to an hour. I know – what a pain that I can’t give you an exact cooking time! But it really depends entirely on the thickness of your meat and the heat of your oven. I have a meat thermometer and cooked them until the thermometer said they were hot enough.
I actually thought I over cooked them because the temperature was quite a bit higher when I checked after about 40 minutes, but the beauty of these little loins is that they stayed nice and tender. They turned a pretty, golden-brown and still tasted delicious.
Though they weren’t quite this golden. Again, Photoshop, how I miss you.
Now, because I’m a complete dope and self-admitted domestiphobe, I totally forgot about sides until the last-minute. Luckily I found a couple of recipes that were really easy to put together.
Let me just say – I could eat these mushrooms every day for the rest of my life and not get sick of them. Oh, and they’re sooo easy to make. This whole dinner was crazy-easy to make. And judging from the fact that we didn’t have any leftovers, I’m thinking it was a hit.