Updated: You can now view a video of this pork chop dinner being prepared!
Tonight's dinner uses one of the buy 1 get 1 free packages of pork chops. I rinsed them, patted them dry and seasoned both sides with a little garlic powder. For the coating, I dredged them in salt and pepper seasoned flour, beaten egg, and panko breadcrumbs (no whey!). Then, I pan-fried them in a little vegetable oil for about two and a half minutes each side because they were only about 3/4" thick. If you were cooking the thick-cut ones, I would go 3-4 minutes on each side. I took them out of the pan and let them rest on paper towel for a couple minutes as the rest of the meal came together. They were really tender and juicy - just how I love pork. The instant it turns dry, nothing can save it for me.
To accompany the pork chops I made my mom's rice-a-roni. We ate this all the time growing up, made from scratch and it never occurred to me until I was in my late teens that it was rice-a-roni. Until I moved out, I'd never even had rice-a-roni from a box, only this home-made version. It's simple- I promise! Probably a lot healthier than the boxed version, too. Just break some dried spaghetti noodles into 1 - 2" pieces and brown in a saucepan with just a little butter and olive oil. Next, throw in 1 cup of white rice, 2 cups of water and a bouillon cube (or 2 cups of stock). Bring to a boil, stir, lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. You could also substitute brown rice, just adjust the cooking time to 30-50 minutes, depending on the brand, package instructions, etc. This re-heats really well in the microwave, so you could make a big batch and have it as sides for two dinners during the week. My mom has frozen it before, thawed it, and reheated it later, too! Just remember to add a small amount of water to prevent the rice from drying out and getting crunchy in the microwave.
Finally, I steamed the last of the Superbowl broccoli with some frozen peas. I love vegetables, so I never really require much spice or seasoning. I prefer the untampered flavor of steamed vegetables, as long as they aren't overdone and soggy. I like them on the crunchier side, where the colors are all still bright and vibrant, and the flavors haven't been watered down.
An interesting little tidbit for you, that my brother told me: panko, which are Japanese-style breadcrumbs, are actually ELOCTROCUTED (crazy, right?!?) loaves of bread. There are two types of panko, the white (what I used), which uses crustless bread, and tan, which uses the entire loaf. Apparently they send a surge of electricity through the bread and it electrocutes it, exploding it into the crunchy little breadcrumbs, packaged up and sold as panko! If you're having trouble finding panko at your grocery store, try looking in the ethnic food aisle, by the Chinese food. That's where mine was hiding!
Speaking of my brother, he's currently back home in North Carolina, visiting my parents with his girlfriend, who is also a CIA graduate chef. My dad was bragging to me earlier that the two of them are making dinner for my parents tonight. Baked chicken, risotto with real, yes real, black truffles (his words), squash, and mushrooms. Lucky ducks. Not only do chefs cook really awesome meals, but they are dish-washing phenoms! I guess they must get a lot of practice, but Michael can have a whole sink of dishes washed and drying before the meal even hits the table. Double lucky ducks.
Cuisinart contest! Make a video, less than 10 minutes in length, cooking a "how-to" recipe and just use a Cuisinart product in the process. Then, submit the video and if you win you get to choose five Cuisinart products! There's six different entry periods, ranging all the way until December of 2010! View their website for more submission and contest rules, but what a great prize!
Alisa at One Frugal Foodie is giving away two separate boxes of dairy- and nut-free dark and milk chocolates for Valentine's Day!