Romantic dinners are nice every once in a while, but I love a real full table for supper. Even though sometimes it's just me and Phil at home, now that the kids are grown up, I'll usually invite the neighbors, Phil's sister down the road or anyone else who comes along for dinner. I cook pork a couple of times a week, and this is one of my everyday recipes.
But it's great for a celebration, too. It's creamy, and with the broth, there's a richness to it. The onion keeps it moist. We love it. On a typical night when I make this, I'll cook 10 or 12 chops — I always have a bunch in the freezer — no matter what. And when fresh corn is in season, I like to pick a pile of it to have with the chops. You may be hungry when you come over to my house, but you'll never leave that way.
Smothered Pork Chops
4 large bone-in pork chops, each about 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Creole-seasoning blend
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, warmed
1/2 cup buttermilk
Season both sides of chops with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. In large cast-iron skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add chops; cook until seared and browned on bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn with tongs; brown other side, 3 minutes more. Transfer to plate. Tent loosely with foil.
Add onion to skillet. Stir to loosen browned bits. Cook, stirring often, until onion is golden and tender, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat; add splash of broth if onion begins to burn.
Sprinkle flour over onion; stir to coat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add broth in slow, steady stream; stir until incorporated. Cook, stirring slowly and constantly, until gravy begins to thicken. Stir in buttermilk. The mixture might look curdled at first but will incorporate as you stir. Reduce heat; simmer until gravy is thick.
Return chops and juices to skillet. Gently push chops into gravy; simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Check seasoning. Serve warm.
Nutrients per serving: 341 calories, 36g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 19g fat, 120mg cholesterol, 1,052mg sodium
Snap Beans With New Potatoes
2 ounces bacon, chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen green beans (not haricots verts)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
6 small red potatoes, scrubbed, halved (or quartered if larger than golf balls)
1 tablespoon butter
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
Cook bacon in large pot over medium-high heat until fat renders and bacon begins to brown, about 5 minutes. If bacon produces less than 2 tablespoons of fat, add some olive oil. Stir in onion; cook about 5 minutes.
Trim ends of beans, remove strings, and cut into bite-size lengths. Add beans and seasonings to pan. Pour in broth to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover; simmer about 25 minutes.
Stir in potatoes; add more broth if beans are almost dry. Partially cover. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add butter; serve warm.
Nutrients per serving: 344 calories, 14g protein, 50g carbohydrates, 8g fiber, 9g fat, 21mg cholesterol, 1,271 mg sodium