Have you ever made that one dish? You know the one. It’s the one where you bake the pork chops till they’re done, drain the juice off, cover them with cream of mushroom soup and some frozen peas, then bake them just till the peas aren’t frozen anymore. It’s an inexpensive dish, easy to make, and not much clean-up!
See, I’ve found myself in a rut. I’m cooking steak, pork, chicken, steak, pork, chicken, steak, pork, chicken, steak-pork-chicken, steakporkchicken, steakporkchicken, steakporkchicken, steakporkchicken, yadda-yadda-yadda, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum, till the cows come home. Yeah, buddy, I’ll put my steakporkchicken up against your turducken any day …
But then, a couple days ago, LunaPierCook reader JEP posted the following question on Serious Eats:
What recipes have you retired?
Our lifestyles change, old tastes lose appeal over time & we constantly seek new flavors. We move on as so our recipes. I cook for one now, therefore, rarely make casseroles or any large quantity recipe. Those recipes are filed under the “retired” category. What recipes have you carefully filed (but not forgotten) to make room for new food adventures?
Today, I finally answered:
I was going to say baked pork chops, topped with cream of mushroom soup and peas, simply because I haven’t made it in a couple years. But after thinking about it for a bit, guess what’s for dinner?
But … to get out of the rut I’ve been in, let’s make it just a bit different. Different is good, right?? Yeah, ok, let’s see …
I already had this package of assorted pork chops that I’d gotten at Kroger. This is that el-cheapo package, that will likely be loaded with cuts that might look just a bit strange … as though the slicer-dicer slipped. I patted them dry, then sprinkled Miracle Blend on both sides. (Kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, that’ll work too.) I then drained a couple cheap cans of mushroom pieces, a can of peas, and also dumped a can of the Campbell’s roast garlic cream o’ mushroom in a saucepan.
With the grill on about as high as possible, I seared the chops, twice on each side, getting decent grill marks. I also set the soup on low (no milk added!), and in another pan with some unsalted butter, started sautéing some minced garlic, the drained peas and shrooms, and a bit more miracle blend. When everything was done, I also nuked a bag of the microwavable Uncle Ben’s Brown & Wild Rice.
This is easy to put together. A bed of rice, a grilled chop, some of the still-concentrated soup, and the sautéed peas and shrooms.
Mary’s mentioned how considerably better this is than the old version, which ends up a bit on the soggy side. With this method, the meat is crisp, and the peas nice and tender. I’d love to do this with absolutely fresh everything sometime. But for now, this will definitely do!