Saturday, June 28, 2008

Baked Pork Chops – A Reminder of Home

My Daddy and Step-Mother
Mildred Smith Hicks & Leon Fremont Richards
in their home in September 1964
Having grown up in a household where my father was a butcher for the local Safeway store and my mother worked in the same meat department, we had a variety of cuts of meat every day. Breakfast fare usually included thick slices of bacon, smoked, peppered, and honey cured. Occasionally a pork chop made its appearance on our breakfast plate beside the usual eggs and fried potatoes and onion. We didn't have that big of a breakfast every weekday because Mom spent long days at work and school was calling - we usually ran a little late with 4 teenagers and 2 elementary-aged kids to get ready. But the weekends found us all gathered in the country kitchen around the beautiful round oak table that my younger sister now has in her home.
Align Center
Again on the weekends we enjoyed various cuts of meat that daddy patiently showed us how to prepare. Mom was usually in the garden or making biscuits.

Reminder of Home
I was reminded tonight of the thick pork chops that Daddy used to bring home and stuff with delicious dressing prepared just like you would for the Thanksgiving turkey. He would take a very sharp knife and cut a slit in the meat across from the bone and stuff it with cornbread dressing.

Request for Pork Chop
I had asked my hubby to please bring home some pork chops from the grocery (he usually does our shopping) because we hadn't eaten them for quite some time. He found some beautiful chops that were about 1-inch thick with the bone in. If you sometimes wonder how to cook pork chops that are that thick I find that baking them is probably the easiest thing to do.

Preparation of Meat
I rinsed the meat under running water and patted them dry. I had prepared a basil olive oil mixed with garlic salt and dry Italian seasonings that I placed in a shallow bowl. Then I rubbed this on all sides of each pork chop. I then wrapped them tightly in aluminum foil, placed them in a heavy cast iron skillet to bake in my 350º oven. I baked them for one hour.
They were delicious. And because I had wrapped them in foil I had no mess to clean up. Of course, they could just as easily be cooked in any ovenproof dish and if you chose to not use the foil, the chops would brown nicely. Mine were not as brown but tasted more like a pork roast.

You should try this method of cooking pork chops. I found I could not "fry" my pork chops all the time. Cooking them this way cuts down on the calories and fat.

Bon appétit.

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When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.

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