Sunday, January 9, 2011


I have never made a pork chop. I have never stuffed meat, save a series of turkeys annually beginning in 2004. I have never used a dutch oven. I only recently realized I in fact HAVE a dutch oven.

What better way to handle that than by tackling them all at once?

"Perhaps you should start with one new thing at a time," you might be thinking. But this is not my style. No, I decided I should conquer all of them in a quest to make a recipe a friend of ours related to us at about 10:30 pm one night after 2 six-packs of beers and what amounted to the most delicious midnight snack ever: stuffed pork chops, and three desserts.

"Well, at least you have a recipe," you might be saying. But you'd be wrong. Take note of the time of day, as well as the beer supply. Some of you might add in the fact that my memory is tantamount to the rumored memory of a goldfish...

I jotted a quick shopping list of what I'd need to make the recipe in my mind. The Boy and I went to the store. He asked me what was on my list.

"Pork chops, an onion, golden mushroom soup and rice," I answered. He looked at me funny. I looked back at him funny.

"Why all that stuff?" He asked. Clearly there was a disconnect.

"Well, pork chops obviously, and the onion and rice for the stuffing, and the soup because that was Big Bad Bode's secret ingredient we'd never heard of. We already have mushrooms and garlic for the stuffing." I answered.

"Bode bought the pork chops stuffed." The Boy answered. I had not remembered this. I had a rock solid idea of exactly what the stuffing should be like. And it was not "pre stuffed"...

It was then that I realized my rock solid recipe was not so solid. In fact, what WAS in the stuffing? Suddenly neither of us could remember. Nor could we remember how many cans of soup he used, or how hot he cooked it and for how long...and was there celery in the stuffing?

A reasonable person might have consulted with the internet recipe lore, but by now, I was well on my way to an adventure in cooking.

We bought our supplies and headed home.

Upon arriving home, I glanced over at my computer, sitting idly on the couch, ready for a quick recipe consult, but in abject defiance I refused and began cooking. Here are the results:

My version of Big Bad Bode's stuffed chops:
3 thick pork chops
1 medium yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
2 TBS olive oil (I like extra virgin)
1 TBS sage
1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 carton of sliced mushrooms
1 pouch of "cook in bag" brown rice
1 can of golden mushroom soup (condensed)

Slice garlic; dice onion. Saute in a small amount of olive oil in the dutch oven until translucent; add a tablespoon of sage and salt to onion/garlic mix.
Add carton of sliced mushrooms; cook until lightly brown and reduced in size.
Nuke pouch of rice (I usually would make the rice myself, but didn't have time)
Preheat oven to 350
Transfer about 3/4 of the onion/mushroom mix to mixing bowl, combine with rice.
Slice pork chops (butterfly style) to create pocket. Cram full of as much rice/mushroom mix as possible. Smoosh it more, try to pack more in, attempt to seal shut with toothpick (probably didn't really need this)
Place pork chops in dutch oven
Dump can of golden mushroom soup on chops. Add one can of water, per instructions. (I did not mix this - it seemed to mix while cooking.)
Cover with dutch oven lid and put in oven for 60 minutes.

I added the leftover mushroom/onion mix to the remaining unused stuffing, and used that as a serving base for the pork chops when they were done. It absorbed the delicious soupy gravy at the end, and there's no such thing as enough stuffing in the tiny little chop anyway.

This was one of the easiest recipes I've made, and I didn't even make a mess in the kitchen!

I also made sauteed asparagus with it, which is really simple: snap ends off asparagus, rinse. Heat skillet with EVOO, throw asparagus in it, saute until brown streaks appear on the pan side of asparagus. Rotate. Cook to taste, add salt/pepper.

Needless to say, my completely made up recipe turned out awesome, and I also snapped my first ever awesome food picture for my 365 project!

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