Monday, February 14, 2011

Creole Pork Chops

Recipe modified by Gretchen Wilson – October 14, 2010
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Recipe originally published in Taste of Home’s weekly e-zine “Menu$aver Newsletter”.

Up until last year, my husband wouldn’t eat pork chops, then suddenly one day – WHAM – he said, “I don’t know why you thought I wouldn’t eat pork chops.”  Sometimes it is just better not to argue or try to understand… you just go about your business and look for pork chop recipes.  “The Other White Meat” can be a little bland, so when I found a Creole spiced recipe, I was all over it.

My finished product:

Picture published with recipe:

© Taste of Home

Mine didn’t turn out as “tomato-ey” and it looks like there is a lot more spice on their pork chop.  It was still very good and perfect with a side of potatoes (as shown) and a small salad.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessEH – There isn’t much equipment for this recipe, but, as I point out in the “Prep Work” section, you are going to have to do some chopping.  Also, you are going to sear the pork chops in a little olive oil which could cause some splatter.

Start-to-Finish Time: WELL UNDER AN HOUR – Taste of Home says it is going to take 30 minutes, which is pretty close.  Of course, next time I make it, I am going to pay a little more attention to detail when chopping (giving it a finer chop) and you still have to brown the pork chops before cooking them for 15 to 20 minutes.  I’d say more around the 40-45 minute mark to be safe.

Prep Work: LOSS OF FINGER POSSIBLE – Green peppers are a pain to clean, but it isn’t like it is brain surgery.  No, the real work here is going to be finely chopping the vegetables.  As you could see from the pictures, my sauce didn’t look as thick and saucy as the published photo.  I think part of the issue is because I left my vegetables a little chunkier.  Now, the recipe didn’t specify to finely chop the vegetables but I think that will help my dish a little.

Ease of Recipe: COOK IT IN MY SLEEP – Very simple mixing of spice rub and sauce and browning the pork chops before adding the sauce.  The only challenge for new chefs would be how long to leave the chop before flipping over.  Well that and making sure you don’t splash yourself with hot oil when trying to turn it over (um, guilty).

Overall:  YUMMY – These were so good, but I couldn’t give it a SORRY HONEY rating because now I that I have the go-ahead to make more pork, I’ve got a ton of recipes to try.  I can say that the next time my husband asks me to make Cajun food, and I don’t feel like looking for another recipe, this will be the recipe I pull up.

Recipe Information:
Prep/Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Nutritional Information (1 pork loin chop with about ½ cup sauce)
  • Calories 244
  • Fat 13g (3g Saturated Fat)
  • Cholesterol 55mg
  • 636mg sodium
  • Carbohydrate 7g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Protein 23g

One pork chop is definitely filling, but I would make either mashed potatoes (as shown in the Taste of Home picture) or a Cajun Dirty Rice.  Add a side salad and you’ve got a filling and healthy meal.

Changes denoted by red text

½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped green pepper
¼ cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon minced garlic

Ingredient Notes:
Olive Oil
  • The recipe originally called for canola oil, but olive oil is a healthier option on several levels (“good fats” and high in antioxidants)
  • Should you use your really expensive extra-virgin olive oil or not.  Since it is not the focus of the dish and is used as a cooking medium, don’t waste your good olive oil stash.  The cheap(er) stuff works just fine.

Tomato Sauce – the recipe called for a specific brand name of tomato sauce.  I usually buy generic unless I can’t get it in a generic or store brand.

Onion – You can get the amount from ½ of a large onion

Green Pepper – You can get the amount from ½ of a large pepper

Celery – I used approximately 2 stalks when I made my sauce, but I think that was a little too much.  I will only use 1 stalk the next time I make it.

Garlic – I used the pre-minced garlic to save time.

Equipment Needed:
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Small bowl
Spoon (for mixing)
Large skillet with lid or Dutch Oven
Spatula (to flip chops)
Meat thermometer

Equipment Notes:
Large Skilled or Dutch Oven – Make sure you use a skillet that is large and has deep sides since you will be adding a lot of liquid to the meat.  If you don’t have a deep and large skillet, then use your Dutch oven.

Meat Thermometer – I will say that the best investment I ever made was a low-cost electronic meat thermometer that can notify you when it hits a desired temperature.  If you have the funds, I highly suggest purchasing one.

(1)  In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients; rub over both sides of pork.

(2)  In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil over medium heat.

(3)  Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F.

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