9.06.2009

Quick and Easy
Pork Chops with Sour Cream Sauce and Sauerkraut



SORRY, I know I haven't posted anything in a while. I HAVE BEEN cooking, baking, and occasionally taking pictures. Yet, have been busy and lazy with a lack of motivation to actually finish my post projects. I know, shame on me. On this post I didn't even take pictures of the meal but wanted to share it anyway because I think it's a good and quite simple dinner for the last minute busy-body people. This is all of us, we want something to make that is good and different from the same old thing but still quick and easy. AND, we want a rcipe we have all the ingredients for and don't have to go on a wild goose hunt for silly ingredients we will never use again.

This dinner took me about 25 minutes from start to finish and used very simple ingredients.

This is a keeper for me but probably won't make it all the time. We don't eat pork very often. Bacon sometimes and pork chops once in a while. Sean's family has a German tradition that is now in our own household of making pork chops and sauerkraut in the crock pot on New Years Day. I love having traditions, they make me feel so at HOME. :)

So, here we go...my goal is to convince you non-cookers out there how easy it really is for you do these kinds of meals. Even if you don't like this exact recipe, you can do lots of meals that are similiar to this one. Make it with chicken and leave out the sauerkraut or make a creamy garlic sauce instead of the brown sugar and paprika and leave out the sauerkraut. The base reacipe her can be adapted in many spur-of -the-moment ways. My friends, co-workers, and family tell me I have a "knack" and talent for baking and cooking. I really don't. What I do is very simple and if you have the basics to work off of you can do it. REALLY. The only difference is I may make the DECISION and effort more than others to make HOME COOKING happen. Even then, I have my moments and Seanie must take me out to eat because I lack energy, motivation and inspiration. :) And my meals are not always five-course and Gourmet as some may think and have accused me of. LOL.

Grocery list
-Nice looking 1/2 inch pork chops Just eye-ball it at the store-you don't want the wafer thin or the super thick ones. something in the middle. It shouldn't be that hard to find.
-8 0z sour cream
Side Ramble: A good substitute is a thick plain yogurt "Greek style" perhaps. All stores have this. If you look for it-you will find it. Plain yogurt is better to have around anyway as flavored yogurts have around 6 Tbs of sugar which is the DAILY limit and recommendation for Women. For men it is 9 Tbs a day. Anyway, plain yogurt can be used and flavored in many different ways. It's healthier, and you get your live cultures. I buy a 32 oz tub of MountainHigh Plain yogurt and it never goes to waste. I will eat two scoops with a Tbs honey or 2 tsps brown sugar with fruit and hulled toasted sunflower seeds for example. My point to this ramble is that it is a good common item to keep in your fridge. :)
-Paprika ( I had a small spice container already. It's kinda' a spice you would rarely use. Mostly for garnish, it has hardly any flavor. You can either pick some up for cheap or ..what would work in this recipe as a substitute is Nutmeg. It will give the same color as paprika and will work in lending a nice flavor to this sauce.

-Brown sugar (had some already but if you have to buy it, buy it in the plastic bag, not the box. It lasts and will stay moist longer. This is also not an ingredient that will sit for long. There are plenty of uses for brown sugar. Sprinkle on oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, or make cookies.

-AP Flour (all purpose flour) I had this on hand you should too. You can use it for thickening sauces, coating pork chops in this case, coating chicken, easy from scratch pancake or waffle batter, baking etc... you get the point it's another basic thing to always have on hand.

-Olive oil ( I also had this on hand. I know what you're saying, I had most of this stuff on hand because I like to cook and cook often. Well, this may be true but, all of this stuff is pretty common in cooking recipes and is just good to have when you need it. Olive oil is Gold in my kitchen. I use it for everything except my sweets. :) Another one of these things you should consider having all the time if you don't already.
If you don't have it, use butter or some veggie oil. Olive oil I prefer because it is healthy and lends a nice quality taste to your food. Sometimes I cook with half butter, half olive oil getting the yummyness of butter but still being healthy.

Salt and pepper fresh grinding mills: No this isn't necessary but I am on a rambling ramble sooo... Buying salt and pepper mills that grind it fresh for you is a very good investment. You get more effective and active flavor in your food by grinding the coarse salt and peppercorns into your cooking. On my stove top are three things ready for quick grabbing, olive oil, and my salt and pepper mills. A lot of recipes now recommend the use of them too. Pepper that sits on those restaurant tables in little jars taste dead to me. So consider it, I promise you will use them and taste a difference.

THE RECIPE (Serves 2)

2 Pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp paprika or 1/2 tsp nutmeg or to taste
Fresh ground Salt and pepper 1 tsp each
4 0z sour cream or thick plain yogurt
1 1/2 tbs milk
2 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbs olive oil

-Between two pieces of plastic wrap pound pork chops with meat tenderizer or a heavy rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick. You're thinking...Ivy, Why don't you just buy 1/4 inch to begin with and skip the pounding? Well, because this step makes this tuff piece of meat-tender and juicier. So don't skip this step.

-Whisk flour salt and pepper and paprika on a plate, dredge pork chop through flour, coating them well. Set aside until ready to cook.
-In a small bowl whisk sour cream, paprika, and brown sugar and set aside.

*Before you begin cooking your meat and sauce make sure you have your sides ready to go. Cooking the meat and sauce will be fast and when done, you want to be done with the meal and serve right away. So get your other meal elements ready before you go on in the recipe.

-In a sauce pan heat 2 tbs oil until hot (be careful not to get burned by any oil that may splash from the pan when you place the meat in the sizzling oil).
-Cook pork chops 3 minutes on each side on medium to medium-high heat ( I set a timer for this because I hate over-cooked tuffie pork chops). They should be slightly browned on the outside and have a pinkish-white center. The professionals say to avoid cutting into the meat to check if they are cooked in the middle because it makes the meat lose it's good juices. But, I am OCD paranoid and at the end of cooking time, I cut one piece of meat in the middle to make sure it's not raw in the middle. I eat that piece that I cut open in the middle but never had a problem with it being lesser in quality than the others- it just doesn't look as pretty on the side I cut into.
-Take pork chops out of pan and place on plates to be served.
-Pour the sour cream mixture in that same saucepan you cooked your chops in, whisk around until it bubbles and is heated.
-Pour sauce over the pork chops and sprinkle some paprika and pile a little sauerkraut over top. I also serve in two separate side dishes, more heated sauerkraut and applesauce with a salad, steamed veggie, or rice.

Speaking of steamed veggies. I used to boil all my veggies however, it clicked one day for me. And now, I always steam. Steaming is healthier. Boiling veggies boils most all of the nutrients out. The steaming method is faster and more efficient in transferring heat to your food. Investing in a steamer that you can place in any of your pots is worth it. Trust me, I was resistant at first too thinking the process was slower.

Well, I hope this was useful and has you excited to try this dish EVEN without mouth-watering pictures. :)
THE END!

3 comments:

Lisa said...

Great meal Ivy! I really like your step by step instructions and your commentary. It is nice to have things explained in detail and your details have great attitude. :-) What's more you have almost convinced me to try this, though I have a long standing aversion to Sauerkraut based on childhood memories. I think I'll bookmark it anyway, just in case.

L.A. Fabulous Dining Deals said...

Sounds delicious even if it is pork :)

LaundryBasketCase said...

I'm only a week late with my comment *blush* sorry :)
Quick easy, non-fussy recipes? That's what I need at the moment! Good timing Ivy. I love traditions too, they are comforting.
I'm not a big pork fan, but I love sour cream, and hubby loves pork, so I'll have to try this... thanks!
Hope you have a nice weekend!
x