Friday, January 25, 2013

Herbed Pork Chops + Big News!

Print or download the recipe:
Herbed Pork Chops

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Yay, I'm back! It turns out one really has very little time for blogging when one is surrounded by brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces for two months. I've had a wonderful extended vacation, but it's good to be back west with my feet firmly on the ground for the foreseeable future. I'm settled in at my new home, and while I'm still looking for a job I have plenty of time on my hands, so I'm finally back to cooking, and intend to do a lot of it!

And while many of my good intentions fall flat, I'm pretty sure I can't escape fulfilling this one, because I just got accepted to the Arizona Culinary Institute! It's been a life long dream for me, to attend culinary school, and until a year and a half ago I always thought circumstances would prevent it. Now it's finally a reality (well, almost, classes don't actually start till April) and I am excited out of my mind. Like I won't even begin to try to express how excited I am, I'm THAT excited...

Anyway, here's the recipe y'all have been waiting for with bated breath. When I was visiting my brother and his family in Colorado a couple weeks ago they asked me to make something with the months-old pork chops in the freezer. I knew I'd have to do some serious marinating or sauce-making to hide the freezer-burned flavor and break down the fibers so the meat wouldn't be too tough. I normally like to cook with the freshest ingredients possible, but due to a couple feet of snow on the ground there wasn't a lot of fresh food in the house. So I decided to cook the chops long and slow and season them with a bazillion dried herbs. Thank heaven, I did have fresh lemon and garlic to use. I simply refuse to cook with bottled lemon juice or garlic powder. Well, it turned out fantastic, and my sister-in-law made me promise to put it on my blog. So I made it again last night and took pictures for your edification. Or amusement. Whatever.

↑ That's a serious punch of flavor, folks.

Start by searing some bone-in pork chops, generously seasoned with salt and pepper, in very hot oil.

Then set the chops aside and pour in some chicken stock, whisking to get all those yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

Add in a bunch of dried oregano, parsley, thyme, basil, marjoram, rosemary, and onion flakes, as well as fresh garlic and fresh lemon juice.

Reduce the heat to low, return the pork chops to the sauce, put a lid on it, and leave it alone for an hour. When you come back that meat will be so tender it's practically falling off the bones.

Take the pork chops out again and set them aside. Whisk together until smooth a heaping tablespoon of flour and a little cold water. Bring the sauce back to a boil and slowly stir in the flour mixture until the sauce is nicely thickened. Add more salt and pepper if the sauce needs it.

Serve the pork over steamed rice and drench it in sauce. I know, it's so thick and creamy and silky and rich, but it's only got a tiny bit of good fat in it, and it's thickened with flour, not cream! So dig in and feel good about it. :)

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