Monday, February 9, 2009

Pork Chops

We're semi-vegetarians. In this case, that means we have some family members who do not eat meat. I serve a lot of split meals and I post intermittently at Mormons Going Veggie.

Sunday I found out my youngest doesn't know what a pork chop is. So I decided a meal of pork chops was in order. I had to look up a recipe though, because after spending my 20s as a vegetarian, I missed the critical window for learning to cook meat. I serve meat two or three times a week, and then mostly with fear and trembling, and much use of an instant-read thermometer.

Still ended up with meat browned on the outside, raw on the inside. I blame the low heat of the nonstick pan. I ended up putting the fry pan with the chops in it into a 400 degree oven, then overshot my 144 degree target. Good news, chops are still edible, if not actually delicious, at 160. They were in the oven overlong because no child wants to come to the table and wait for the others. Everyone wants to be last.

The idea of pork chops brought back delicious memories of my happy childhood and our regular pork chop meal. I tried to get shake-and-bake but my store didn't have it, another casualty of gentrification. I bought four chops, one for each known meat eater, because I didn't want to run out. I anticipated the food would be delicious. And, I bypassed the economy thin chops for ones that were 3/4 or an inch thick, with the bone in, of course.

And they were delicious. (ha, you thought the punchline was they were inedible, dry)

And ONE pork chop fed all of us. I have three beautiful, delicious pork chops sitting in the fridge. The bloom of their just-roasted flavor dissipating into the cold.

That's the problem with semi-vegetarians. They really just don't eat much meat.

Pork Chop Dinner Menu

  • Mom's Perfect Pork Chops from Simply Recipes. Except I completely lazy-fied it. Instead of using her dad's rub, I just rubbed untoasted pre-ground cumin, corriandor, salt and pepper on it.

  • Cornbread. The vegetarians rejected my offer to make cornbread stuffing in favor of straight plain cornbread. My new lazy trick is the Marie Calendar's mix. I used to make cornbread from scratch, but never had the nerve to put that much sugar in it.

  • Sauteed zucchini, summer squash, and mushrooms. I only have one pan, and the pork chops were in it. So I did this on my electric pancake griddle. Worked well.

  • fresh fruit salad: melon, pineapple, grapes, berries. yes, I got it at the deli

  • Caeser salad, with the reduced-fat dressing the teens requested. Actually, I couldn't tell the difference, though I am against reduced-fat dressing on principle.
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