Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Working Woman Weeknight Dinner: Pork Chops

Tonight I had to stop at the grocery store on my home from work so it was close to 7:00 when I pulled in the driveway.  Far too late to cook anything time consuming.  A very cold storm front was on its way out and I shivered in the 49F air as I carried the groceries into the house.  Brett was in the shower; no doubt trying to get warm.  The temperature in the house wasn't much better: 54F.  Brett doesn't want to be bothered with tending the wood stove so while I'm at work he just deals with being in a cold house.  After unloading the groceries and changing into my sweats, I lit a fire.  Priorities.

I set the oven to 425, pulled out my small roasting pan, drizzled it with olive oil and slid it into the oven.  While it was warming up, I cut up red and white potatoes into quarters.  They cook quicker if they are in small pieces.  I tossed them in a bowl with more olive oil, salt, pepper and some grated Parmesan cheese.

I dumped them onto the hot roasting pan in the oven where they made a very satisfactory sizzling sound as I spread them out into a single row.  The potatoes would take the longest to cook, 20-30 minutes, so they went first.

Next, I chopped up three apples and put them in a saucepan with about an inch of water.  I brought the water to a boil and cooked the apples until they were soft.

The pork chops only needed five minutes per side so I killed about ten minutes folding sheets in front of the fire.  Back in the kitchen, I seasoned the pork chops with Seasoned Salt.  My mother always seasoned her pork roasts with Seasoned Salt and I it's still my favorite pork seasoning.

I put my cast iron pan on the stove and let it preheat on medium high for a few minutes.  I added a splash of peanut oil (it does well with high heat) and put in the pork chops.  Cast iron pans are inexpensive and nothing puts a beautiful sear on meat in quite the same way.  Five minutes per side.  Perfect.  The final trick?  Add a tablespoon (or two) of butter to the pan at the very end and when it has melted, use a spoon to baste it over the meat.

I pulled the potatoes out of the oven, nicely browned and soft (check by poking with a butter knife).  I mashed the apples and added a spoonful of brown sugar and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon.  Brett poured the wine while I plated our food.

Bon appetit!


  1. Look so yummy!
    Greetings, RW & SK

  2. Good job missey! Looks delish. We have a gazillion apples and have been going crazy making and freezing applesauce. Used to have that same stove, and it could really crank out the heat. Our thermostats are kept low, as we started burning wood....especially in the kitchen. Can't beat the feeling. "Hey Brett!"

  3. Oh this looks delicious I truly could go for that right now. Are you busy?:) Hug B

  4. Oh you DO have a perfect sear on those chops! Nothing like wood heat. Nothing.

  5. I have my Moms iron skillet and use it regularly. I am 68 and remember her using it when I was young. She made gallons of gravy in it and a lot of fried chicken and many other things. We lived on a farm with plenty of milk, bacon grease and other foods. When my daughter wanted to learn to cook she made gravy in the skillet with the grease, a little flour and milk. The farm dogs loved her since she practiced a lot and they had gravy over there dry dog food many days. One day soon I will give my daughter the skillet. Love you blog, keep writing.

  6. That looks amazing!
    Thank you for the ideas.

  7. I like your oven-fried potatoes! Must try them like that.


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