A One Dish Wonder
Late last week I was wandering down the meat isle of our local grocery store, looking for bargains, when I noticed packages of little boneless pork chops "buy one, get one free." They were sliced about 1/4" to 3/8" thick, had a nice pink color, and I just couldn't resist.
Two packages came home with me.
Thin little chops like these cook in just a couple of minutes on each side in the skillet, and it's easy to over cook them and dry them out if you're not careful, so I started poking around the Internet looking for something different to do with four of my little chops for dinner tonight.
I came upon this recipe for something called "Italian Pork Chops," but I wanted something a little heartier, so I made a few modifications and here's what I came up with for dinner.
four pork chops
one link of andouille sausage (or Italian sausage)
five medium sized red potatoes
28 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
12 oz can of cream of Mushroom Soup
one cup of shredded cheese (I used Swiss and Parmesan, but most any kind will work)
First wash and slice up your potatoes into 1/8" slices and toss them in a pot of cold salted water to soak for a few minutes. I leave the skins on my new potatoes because I like the texture and flavor, but feel free to peal yours if you want to.
Now grate up your cheese and start heating up a medium boiler of water for the potatoes and a large skillet on high to sear the pork chops and sausage in.
Dump the water off the potatoes down the sink, then place the drained potatoes into the pot of hot water on your stove top and bring them to a rolling boil to pre cook them slightly.
Toss the chops into the hot skillet with a little olive oil and sear them lightly on both sides, being careful not to cook them too much or they'll be tough when they're done baking later.
The sausage should be seared also, but you don't have to be as careful and you can give it some nice color if you want, then pull it out of the skillet and slice it into 1/8" to 1/4" thick slices.
Take your potatoes off the stove and pour them out into a colander to drain well.
Now you can start putting your dish together. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 13" x 13" Pyrex dish with your favorite fat. I used spray olive oil.
Now layer half of your potato slices evenly in the bottom of your dish, then lay your little pork shops and the sausage slices on top in a nice layer and sprinkle with about a half teaspoon of dried tarragon.
Spoon the can of Cream of Mushroom Soup over your meat and potato layers and smooth it out.
Sprinkle in a little of your grated cheese if you want to. I saved all of mine for the topping.
Now layer the last of your potatoes across the top of everything, then spoon the diced tomatoes out over the dish. Crack a little fresh black pepper over the top of it all, and sprinkle with another half teaspoon of dried tarragon and some dried basil and parsley if you're in the mood.
Step back from the stove to admire your work.
Isn't that pretty?
It gets better... spread your grated cheese evenly over the top...now THAT looks Yummy.
Set your timer for 40 minutes, pop your dish in the oven, and go watch TV or surf the Internet or play with the dog or something while your casserole cooks. How about washing your car?
After 40 minutes, pull the dish out and sprinkle about 3/4 cup of bread crumbs on top of the melting cheese, then put it back in the oven and cook it for another 20 minutes.
For the last three minutes I kicked the oven broiler on to give the bread crumbs a nice color, then pulled it out and let it cool for about ten minutes.
If you can remember where you put your pork chops, try to dive in with a giant spoon or spatula and scoop out a nice slab of everything. If it falls apart, just spoon it out in a pile, then grab yourself a fork and napkin and EAT.
The Redneck Gourmet