Who's That Girl

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WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Childhood Memory-Inducing Smothered Pork Chops

OK so, yeah, smothered pork chops is more southern than southern California, but that didn't stop my family from enjoy this dish from time to time throughout my youth.

There is something about deep gravy drenching slightly crispy-turned-soft pork chops, always with a sharp and slightly sweet flavor.

The slightly sweet flavor comes from the pork chops being caramelized a bit before being smothered. The sharp tinge comes from the soy sauce. I use it to make my gravy. It's how my great grandmother, Viola, made her gravy. Her teachings have remained with me to this day.

In all, the dish calls for the pork chops (bone in, either thick or thinly sliced) to be seasoned with onion powder, garlic salt and Lawry's seasoning salt. Given the latter two, it is essential to find a balance in seasoning, lest the pork chops taste decorated with a mound of sodium.

It is best to cook the pork chops on the highest temperature possible with a bit of oil. You want them to char only slightly, developing a nice browning that indicates the sugars are being released and cooked to a perfect point.

Meanwhile, get your items prepped for the gravy. Once the pork chops are cooked through, place them on a plate with a couple paper towels. Then use the existing skillet to start in on the gravy. I like to add broth -- any type will do. As the broth is warming up, carefully -- ever so carefully -- add the flour in small portions. I have ruined gravy one too many time by adding the flour too quickly, resulting in clumps that resemble light-colored kidney stones.

Once the mixture begins to resemble gravy, I add a bit of soy sauce. Not much, just a few sprinkles. Then I continue cooking the gravy, but more slowly then, until it has the right consistency. I generally have to add more broth, then a little bit more flour. But, in all, it doesn't take long. Toward the end, I add the onion, then add the pork chops and mushrooms at the same time.

After a quick simmer, dinner is served. I love this dish. It always reminds me of childhood and home.

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