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In just a few days time my oldest and I are leaving on a 3 day excursion to the North Carolina coast.  Actually, it’s a field trip.  A real, honest to goodness field trip for his class.  All he’s said for two days is, “I just can’t wait until Monday.”  He’s very excited.  Well actually, he’s more than excited but my Roget’s Thesaurus is down two flights of stairs and my lazy self won’t run down to get it.

Since I’m among friends I must tell you that I’m not that excited to go.  I’m excited for him to go and experience something he’s looked forward to and heard about from those who’ve gone before him.  For me well, not so much.

There are cots to sleep on (I think) and there are dorms where we sleep (with our children) and 3 squares prepared in a cafeteria of sorts.  As I type this post, I can feel a sense of dread creeping in.

I’d consider myself more of a  “boutique” hotel gal (think SoHo in NY) or even a guest at a quaint bed and breakfast in New England.  But, dorm?  Oh I haven’t uttered that word since I had Greek letters plastered across my chest (and possibly my derrière) and Boyz II Men was on their world tour.

I’m going to have to psych myself up for this one.  Did I mention I’m riding on the bus with 40 or so nine and ten year-olds?  Deep breadths.

Let’s move onto the recipe, shall we?  And, I think it’s a good one for your Sunday supper this weekend.  My Mom passed this month’s issue of Good Housekeeping onto me and this recipe caught my eye.  Smothered pork chops is considered traditional southern fare and I’m quite certain that some of you have a family recipe that’s been passed down through the generations.  If you do, I’d love to hear about the history of your recipe.

This version features sliced cremini mushrooms and fresh rosemary along with the gravy that is a hallmark of any smothered pork chop recipe.

You can find the original recipe here.

Season 3 to 4 center-cut pork chops with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Place 1 1/2 tsp of all-purpose flour into a shallow dish.  Dredge the pork chops in the flour, shaking off excess flour.  Because I don’t want to confuse you, I had 3 pork chops but you will not need to adjust the recipe if you plan to make 4 servings (1 additional pork chop).

Here are the pork chops, which have been seasoned and dredged ever so lightly in the flour.  Now, we’re going to prep our veggies (unless your sous chef has done that for you already.  Lucky you!).

Slice 2 onions into uniform slices.  You’re using  a sharp knife, right?

Slice 2 (8-ounce) packages of cremini mushrooms.  You can buy the mushrooms already sliced to save time, of course.

When your skillet is hot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and wait a bit until the oil is hot.  Then add the pork chops and cook about 7 minutes, turning once until lightly browned.  Remove from pan to a clean plate or platter.

In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium and add the sliced onions, stirring constantly.  We’re not going for a true caramelized onion, but you do want them to be softened and lightly browned.  After about 4 minutes, add 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.

And now you’re ready to add in the sliced cremini mushrooms and 1 tsp of minced fresh rosemary.  You’ll cook these, stirring occasionally for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and all of their juices have been released.

Add 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour to the onion-mushroom mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour throughout.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.  The flour will help to thicken the gravy in the next step.

Slowly pour 1 cup of chicken broth into the skillet and stir to combine.  Reduce heat, bringing broth to a simmer.

Return the pork chops to the gravy and use tongs to nestle them down into the vegetables a bit.  Cover the skillet, reducing heat again so that the pan is barely simmering.  Cook for 8 minutes or until pork is just barely pink in the center.  Stir in 1/4 tsp of Kosher salt and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

I garnished with additional rosemary from my garden for a hint at the rosemary in the gravy and a touch of green on the platter.

Smothered Pork Chops

Recipe adapted from the February 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine

Ingredients

2 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 boneless, center-cut pork chops (about 3/4-inch thick)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 large onions, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 containers (8 ounces each) cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced

1 cup chicken broth

additional fresh rosemary (optional garnish)

Method

Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp of flour into a shallow dish.  Season pork chops on both sides with  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Dredge pork chops into flour, dusting off excess.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add pork and cook 7 minutes or until browned, turning over just once.  Transfer to a plate.

To the same skillet, add onions and reduce heat to medium cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly caramelized.  Stir in minced garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  Add sliced mushrooms and minced roseamary; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally.  Add remaining 2 tbsp of flour; cook 3 minutes stirring constantly.

Slowly add broth to skillet and heat to simmering.  Return pork to pan in a single layer, pushing them down into the vegetable mixture.  Cover; reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes or until pork is barely pink in center or 145 degrees.  Stir in 1/4 tsp Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Garnish with rosemary (optional)

Serves: 3

I’ll be packing for our “field trip” over the weekend, seeing a matinee tomorrow with the boys, watching the Oscars Sunday (glass of sparkling wine in hand) and hopefully, finding some quiet moments to catch up on my blog reading.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend too!

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