Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

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Looking back, it’s been a while since I put up a “foodie” post. So today, after a series of more serious blogs, I’ll share this simple but delicious recipe for pork chops.

I love pork, but chops seldom turn out as tender as I’d like. However, after some extensive experimentation in the Maul-Hall kitchen, I have something exceptional to share.

Ingredients:

  • IMG_0653Two good-sized pork chops
  • 10-12 white mushrooms
  • balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • orange juice
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • fresh garlic
  • seasoned salt (rosemary, sage, garlic, pepper)
  • fine bread-crumbs
  • half-cup of long-grain rice
  • mixed herb salad
  • grape tomatoes
  • feta and cheddar cheese
  • pine-nuts

First, make sure the chops are thick enough. Then, take the time to marinate for at least an hour before cooking (two hours is better). For the marinade, try about a quarter cup of balsamic vinaigrette dressing, the same amount of orange juice, a liberal quantity of seasoned salt, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and one crushed clove of garlic. Refrigerate, but remember to turn the chops several times during the process.

I like to use an iron skillet to sear the meat before finishing in the oven. Take the chops from the marinade and dredge them in fine breadcrumbs before placing in the pan. Combine a half tablespoon of olive oil with a tablespoon of butter, then cook about three minutes on each side at medium/high heat. Next, put the chops in a lightly buttered baking dish, pour the remaining marinade around them, cover, and bake for around 25 minutes at 350.

Meanwhile, sauté some mushrooms in your skillet. After baking the chops 25-30 minutes, add the mushrooms, then cook for an additional five minutes uncovered.

Serve with white rice (cooked with a little chopped celery), then plate with a mixed herb salad – prepared with pine-nuts, feta cheese, grated cheddar, and grape tomatoes.

IMG_0609If you are so inclined (I was), make some buttermilk drop biscuits to round out the feast.

This recipe is neither expensive nor difficult. But it is special. I don’t know about you, but I think that sitting down to dinner is always an opportunity to treat your spouse to a date-like atmosphere. Just a little extra effort makes all the difference.

– DEREK

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