Today was supposed to be a lazy day. I was going to meet a friend at a restaurant near work and let the pros take care of my dinner while Dan fended for himself at home. But then a thunder/snow storm set in and my dinner plans were cancelled as both my friend and I scurried out of our offices a couple hours early to avoid getting marooned at work when the city inevitably shut down. DC is incapable of dealing with snow and/or inclement weather in general.
But, for once the Metro didn’t screw me, and I managed to get home by 4:30. Dan, however, remained stuck in traffic until midnight, his 30 minute commute having turned into an eight and a half hour nightmare of bumper to bumper traffic caused by countless cars abandoned in the middle of the highway and iced-over roads. Virginians apparently also suck at dealing with snow.
So, when dinner time rolled around I was home alone with the cat, hungry and bored. What could I make that would keep me occupied for a period of time yet not be a pain in the ass to cook, and taste delicious? Gotta go with my standby: pork chops! But with mushroom cream sauce this time.
I’ve never made this particular dish before, but I’ve made pork chops so many different ways that it wasn’t too difficult to come up with something workable. There was no time to brine the chops, so I made do with direct seasoning instead. Then, the chops were pan seared on each side before getting tucked into the oven for about 15 minutes. The cream sauce was similarly simple: mushrooms sauteed with garlic, combined with heavy cream in the pan, and thickened with a little Parmesan.
Maybe it was the hunger, but…improvisation tastes good! The chops were juicy and flavorful, and the cream sauce was so delicious I actually licked the saucepan clean to get every last savory drop. Served with Caprese salad and a baked potato, these smothered chops were an amazingly satisfying meal.
Smothered Pork Chops
– 2 pork chops, tenderized
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 clove of garlic, minced
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
– 1 cup chopped mushrooms
– Salt and pepper for seasoning
(1) Preheat oven to 425.
(2) Sprinkle both sides of the chops with salt and pepper, to taste.
(3) In a saucepan on medium heat, cook garlic in oil until fragrant.
(4) Add chops to the pan, cooking each side for about 1-2 minutes, until lightly brown.
(5) Remove chops to a lightly greased baking dish, and stick in the oven.
(6) Bake for 15 minutes.
(7) While waiting for the chops to finish up in the oven, start cooking mushrooms in the original saucepan. Add more oil, if necessary. (I just go with Pam)
(8) When mushrooms are brown and tender, add cream and Parmesan, whisking until the sauce thickens to the consistency you want. Season with salt to taste, then set aside.
** Feel free to add more Parmesan to taste, or if your cream isn’t getting as thick as you like. Or, to avoid too many extra calories, throw in a little bit of flour.
(9) Pull chops out of the oven and onto heated plates. Smother with mushroom cream sauce. Sprinkle with chives or parsley.