Sunday, February 13, 2011

Do you own this?

I bought it about three years ago but it's still available on Amazon, because Amazon is awesome like that.

This cookbook features every comforting dish you've ever met but overhauls them from the buffet table at Golden Corral to an art form that you just want to crawl into and live for all eternity. Lasagna, mac and cheese, ziti, chicken enchiladas, and all the American classics, including pete's Smothered Pork Chops. But lest you think it all standard fare, there are also recipes for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic from France, Moroccan Chicken Tagine, Italian White Bean Cassarole, Thai Curry and Irish Guiness Beef Stew.

The best thing about the cookbook, aside from the kick ass recipes, is all the detail the writers go into explaining how to choose the right ingredients, why you should use a shallow sided frying pan, how to chose a frying pan, etc. I dare you to try to screw up one of these recipes, even if adding cream of crap to rice is the extent of your cooking skills.

Now that I've yammered your ear off, here's the recipe for Smothered Pork Chops.

4 slices of bacon, chopped
3 tbps flour
1 3/4c chicken broth
1 tbsp veggie oil (I used olive oil)
4 bone in pork chops, 1/2-3/4 in thick
salt and pepper
2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaves

  1. Fry the bacon in a medium saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove, leaving behind the fat. Hide the bacon in a safe place lest you eat it all before you're done cooking.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and sprinkle the flour over the surface. Stir with a wooden spoon, letting the flour cook until it's golden brown, working out any lumps. Add chicken broth in a steady stream as you stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and keep warm.
  3. In a skillet, heat the oil. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels then salt and pepper generously. Add to the frying pan and sear on very high heat until deep brown. Turn and repeat on the other side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Drop heat to medium and add the onions and a 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir as you cook, scraping up the browned bits, until the onions get all golden and soft. Add the garlic and the thyme and stir through. Put the pork chops back, covering them with the onions. Pour in the sauce, add the bay leaves and turn on low. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the pork chops and cover with foil. Heat the sauce and onions on high, stirring until the sauce thickens into an amazing gravy. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Serve with rice.

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