Tonight was one of those evenings I really didn't want to spend a lot of time on dinner, but I also wanted something tasty. So, I made a super-quick, delicious, inexpensive meal and wanted to share it with you all.
**Please note, I made this dinner for two people. You may need to adjust quantities according to the number of plates you are making. Also, the product is what is key - not the brand. If you have the same product under a different name, it will work the same.**
Ingredients you will need:
- (2) boneless pork chops
- (1) Idahoan potato pouch
- (8) spears frozen broccoli
- (1) Bisquick Complete buttermilk biscuit pouch
- (1) Kraft Parmesan Cheese Seasoning Blends packet
- (4) tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 3-4 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Salt & pepper, to taste
Equipment you will need:
- Frying / saute skillet
- Medium sized pot with lid
- Measuring cups & mixing bowl
- Small cookie sheet
- Plastic storage bag
- Parchment paper & paper towels
- Strainer, tongs, mixing utensils
Begin by getting your ingredients and equipment together. If using frozen pork chops, remove them from the freezer and defrost them. I prefer to thaw them in the microwave, using a one minute cook cycle. If you do this, watch the meat carefully, as too a lengthy cycle will not only thaw, but also cook the pork.
As you will notice, I bag my pork chops individually. I found it makes for super easy portioning (no more thawing out more meat than you need!), plus it keeps my hands from touching raw protein (GERMS!!). They now make special portion freezer bags, but I simply use fold-over sandwich bags and then put all the individual portions into a large freezer bag to protect from freezer burn.
While the pork is thawing, preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper. If the paper is too large, simply fold it underneath itself to size. Set aside to use later.
Next, fill a medium pot half-full of water. Add approximately half a teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon of butter into the water. Cover pot with lid and turn the burner on medium heat.
Empty the contents of the Parmesan cheese packet into a plastic food storage bag. Place the thawed pork chops into the bag, seal, and shake until the chops are well coated. Set the chops (still in the bag) aside until ready to cook.
Next, combine 1 3/4 cups milk and the contents of the potato pouch in a large measuring cup. Mix well, making sure to stir from the bottom up to insure all the potato goodness is incorporated. The spuds will still have a soupy consistency once mixed, but this will change once it is heated.
**I should mention that the directions on the potato pouch state to use 2 cups of water. However, I find that using 1 3/4 cups of milk INSTEAD yields a richer, creamy potato. You can choose whichever method you prefer.**
Set the mixing cup of potatoes in the microwave. You will heat them when the pork is almost finished cooking.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the Bisquick biscuit mix and 1/2 cup of water. Mix thoroughly. This mixture will be lumpy even after well-mixed due to the chunks of butter in the dough.
Drop large spoonfuls of dough onto the cookie sheet, about two inches apart. Place biscuits in the oven for 8 - 11 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Once you have placed the biscuits into the oven, pour approximately 3-4 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan and heat on medium heat.
**I used canola oil, but you can use any oil with a higher smoke-point. Oils such as olive oil are not recommended in frying.**
Once the oil has heated for a couple minutes, turn the heat down to medium-low. Remove the pork chops from the storage bag with tongs and gently place them into the skillet. The cooking time of the pork will vary according to their thickness (I cooked mine for 5 minutes per side) but you want to make sure they reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees.
Do NOT eat undercooked pork, as it can result in the parasitic disease Trichinosis. Correctly cooked pork will be a creamy white color. If it is pink, it is undercooked. If in doubt, use a meat thermometer or cook it a little longer.
An important thing to know, which I found out the hard way, is the seasoning blend will cause the oil to splatter some. The cheese has moisture in it, and when the moisture hits the oil, it pops. It subsides quickly, but can certainly surprise you if you're not expecting it.
Once you place the pork chops into the skillet, remove the lid from the pot of water. Add the broccoli spears and stir gently.
Watch the pork to ensure it doesn't burn. Once the bottom of the chops are a golden brown, gently turn them over brown the other side.
Once you have turned the pork chops, heat the mashed potatoes you mixed up earlier. Set the microwave for three minutes (adjust as necessary for your microwave's power) and press start.
Check the pork chops (either by color or temperature). Once done, remove them from the skillet and place on 3-4 layers of paper towels to drain and rest.
*Make sure to check your broccoli periodically. It takes very little time to cook, so it can quickly turn mushy if heated too long.*
Slowly pour about 1/3 cup of white wine (drinking wine, not cooking wine as it has a high sodium content) and stir.
It will steam and "sizzle" furiously for a few seconds as it mixes with the oils. This is called deglazing and doing this will loosen all those yummy bits so you can make a delicious gravy with them. Add one tablespoon of butter to the skillet and stir until melted and well incorporated. Next, sprinkle two tablespoons of all purpose flour over the mixture.
Using a whisk, cook until golden in color and it takes on a thick, smooth texture. Because of the browned bits, it may be difficult to detect a difference in color. Just make sure you cook the mixture for about a minute - if you don't cook it long enough, your gravy will taste like flour.
Slowly pour in 3/4 cups of milk, whisking the mixture quickly to blend. The mixture will become thicker the longer you cook it. If it is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more flour.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the gravy has reached your desired consistency, remove it from heat.
Once the broccoli is tender to your liking, drain the water off and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Now for the really fun part................fix your plate and ENJOY!
*For those of you who want to make a nice plate presentation, you can garnish with a LIGHT sprinkling of parsley around the edges.*