Thursday, February 12, 2015

Frying Pork Chops

Don't read any further if you don't eat meat because this post is about frying meat, in particular, pork chops.  We never buy pork chops or steak in the winter, we only BBQ them in the summer.   I used to cook pork chops in the oven, but didn't really care for that method so no more of that! I remember back when I first started cooking, the only way to make pork chops was Shake n Bake, that used to be a grocery staple!!!


  I can't remember the last time I ever had pork in a frying pan,  but I do remember them to be burnt to a crisp and dry as a bone, no wonder I wasn't anxious to cook them that way.  But, since I discovered this method, I'll be buying pork chops again, they're the best, done this way!!

We've fried pork chops twice now and both times they were so flavorful and moist, we have to admit, we liked them better than the BBQ ones.  

I left the chops on the counter for about half an hour, if your meat is too cold the outside will overcook while the inside comes to the right temperature, doing this will ensure a nice crust and a tender center.   Wash the chops, dry with paper towel and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder, or whatever you prefer.    Add about 1 tbsp of oil to your frying pan, get it good and hot, cook the chops for about 3 minutes or so at that temperature, then turn the heat down to medium, cook them for a further 3 minutes on each side.  Another hint to use during cooking is to stand up your chops, use your tongs for that, the fat on the edge will be brown and crispy.  When your thermometer reaches 145, they're done , don't cook them longer, they'll be dry!  Wait for 10 minutes (if you can't wait, they'll still be good, we waited about 5 minutes the first time, the next time we didn't wait at all) before you cut into your meat, the juices will not be all over your plate or cutting board but contained in the meat and so delicious!!

This seems pretty basic, but it was just like a new wonderful recipe to us!!  Do you fry pork chops?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Vegetable Soup in a Snap!!

It's the perfect time of year for soup, homemade soup, in particular.  I mentioned before that I was trying to make more soups and freeze the leftovers,  very seldom now do I ever buy a can of soup!!  I've made this vegetable soup recipe a few times now and every time it hits the spot - it's easy to make and the great thing about it is you can use whatever vegetables you might have on hand.  

This is a recipe I found on Pinterest, here is the original pin, which will take you back to that recipe.  But, I'll include the recipe anyway..

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 ribs, celery, chopped

2 carrots, sliced or chopped

2 cups mixed vegetables (today for extra vegetables, I used sweet potato, parsnip, frozen corn and frozen peas.)  I've used turnip as well.

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. oregano

1 bay leaf

8 cups water and 3 cubes of vegetable bouillon OR 8 cups of vegetable broth (I use the broth)

1 - 14 oz. can tomatoes, I only had the larger can on hand today but I just measured out the right amount.

Today I added 1/2 cup of pot barley which didn't make it into the picture!!

Heat oil in large soup or stock pot.  Add onions, carrots and celery.  Heat, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, until onions are soft.  Add the rest of the vegetables and heat for just another minute or two.   I always cook them longer than stated.

Add salt, thyme and oregano, stirring to coat the vegetables well.

Add bay leaf, water or vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.  If using bouillon cubes, add and stir to make sure they dissolve.

Add tomatoes, stir and allow soup to simmer until all the vegetables are cooked.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Remove the bay leaf.  

  Two bowls were served at lunch, I froze two more meals and there was one single bowl left - much better for you and much more economical that buying numerous cans of soup!!!  Try it!!!  It's delicious!!