Any Kitchen Will Do

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Archive for the category “Lake House Kitchen”

pan pork chops

It is really easy to make dry pork. The first pork loin I ever made was a disaster. I loved the flavors on it – a Jamaican jerk combination of cinnamon, thyme, allspice and nutmeg – the flavor was great, but the meat was almost sandy it was so dry. I wanted to make sure it was thoroughly cooked. I did a really good job at that part. Ugh. I have since improved my technique to cook moist pork and will share the jerk recipe with you soon. Today I am doing a simple one-pan pork chop recipe that always comes out moist and delicious.

Pan Pork Chops

4-5 thin pork chops, with or without bone
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
Salt and pepper (or seasoning salt) to taste

Heat large skillet over medium high flame. Add 1 Tbsp oil. When oil is hot add onions and cook until they begin to brown. Salt and pepper lightly. Make two short cuts on each pork chop – they should run about 1/2 inch from the outer edge towards the center, and be 2-3 inches apart. This will help keep the chops flat in the pan instead of curling up. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Move onions to the edges and walls of the pan. Add remaining oil to the pan. When it is hot add the chops. Cook on each side about five minutes until browned. Add lime juice by drizzling it over the chops and onions. You may need to move the chops out of the way and stir up the onions to keep them from getting too dark. Cover the pan, turn down the heat and cook slowly to desired doneness, about five more minutes. Remove pork chops to serving plate and increase heat under pan. Cook onions and liquid in pan until liquid is reduced by half, about two minutes. Top pork chops with onions and sauce. Serve immediately, ideally with some parboiled rice cooked with broth and some roasted acorn squash.

Roasted Acorn Squash

I know it is not peak season for acorn squash, but I wanted to add some variety to our dinner vegetables. I often just cut the squash in half and bake with some butter and brown sugar in the middle, but I am trying to cut down on added sugar while increasing nutrients. This roasted version has three advantages: 1) it makes the squash almost finger food, which gets more inside of Little B, 2) the skin is soft enough to eat along with the flesh, and adds more nutritional value to the dish, and 3) it adds a bit of sweetness naturally to an otherwise savory meal. I made this batch of squash at what used to be a house at a lake near where we currently live. The old house has since been replaced and is now owned by other family members. Although Big D’s grandparents have both passed, some of their well used equipment continues to be used on a regular basis where the family lake house once stood. I used some wonderfully blackened cookie sheets that are older than me – they belonged to Big D’s grandmother. They did a beautiful job of evenly cooking the squash. I know Grandma Seals enjoyed watching me use them.

Roasted Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove stringy membrane and seeds, then horizontally make slices about 1/2 inch wide to create “C” shaped pieces. Grease a large cookie sheet with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Place squash pieces on sheet in one layer. Sprinkle remaining oil on slices. The best way to evenly distribute the oil is to get messy – pour it on your hands and wipe the top of each piece with your oiled fingers. Sprinkle slices with cinnamon and salt. Bake in oven for about 25 minutes, until squash is tender (a fork slides easily into the thicker pieces) and just starting to turn golden brown. Do not be deceived – it may not look done, but it really will be. Serve immediately.

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