On a whim, I decided to make a dinner from my Rachel Ray 30-Minute Meals cookbook. I had never actually made anything from this cook book despite having it for years, but I am a Rachel Ray fan and was sure whatever I chose would be great! The recipe was for Stuffed Pork Chops with Cream Cheese Potatoes and Sugar Snap Peas. Here’s the ingredients:
2 & 1/2 pounds potatoes, such as Russets or Idaho, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
4 ounces cream cheese
1 small onion, finely chopped
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (Optional)
Here’s what I needed:
For Stuffed Pork Chops:
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil, plus some for drizzling
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 small McIntosh apple, chopped
2 ribs celery from the heart, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped, or 1 teaspoon ground sage
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 store-bought corn muffins
8 thin-cut boneless center-cut pork loin chops
What I needed?
2 Store-bought corn muffins
For Sugar Snap Peas:
2 Pounds sugar snap peas
1 cup chicken broth or water
1 tablespoon butter
Salt, to taste
What I needed?
Nothing! Whoo hoo! At least the peas would be a success!
So since I didn’t wanna run to the grocery store (I have a 5-year old and a 1-year old. There is no such thing as ‘running’ to the store anymore.), I had to nix the potatoes. But on a good note, the pork chops were still a go after I discovered a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix deep in my kitchen cabinet. Add egg and milk and voila! Corn Muffin! I figured my little trick would not only save time (not running to the store) and money (Jiffy Corn Muffin mix costs what? $.69), but will probably make the recipe taste a lOT better. Let’s face it, Jiffy Corn Muffins are THE BEST!
After the muffins were made, I set them aside while I prepared the stuffing. The stuffing was fairly simple though I worried about mixing apples and onions. It just didn’t sound like a great combination. But I have to say, once it started cooking, the smell was WONDERFUL! Really, I hate to use this description, but it was mouth-watering! And pretty, too! The picture I took really doesn’t do it any justice at all. The bright red of the apples and green of the celery mixed with the warm yellows of corn muffin make this a perfect stuffing to enjoy in Autumn. Not that you can only enjoy it Autumn. I’m enjoying it in the Spring!
When it was time to start on the pork chops I realized I didn’t have thin-cut pork chops. They were kinda thick. I still wanted to do the stuffed pork chop so I attempted to slice one in half. I don’t recommend this. It was awkward and I nearly sliced my finger off. I suppose I could have beat it flat, but I really wasn’t in the beating mood. I left them as they were and grilled them on my George Foreman Grill.
Time for a commercial break…I cannot say enough how much I LOVE my George Foreman Grill! Honestly, the happiest days of my life were my wedding, the birth of my son, and the first time I cooked bacon on George. (The saddest day of my life is when I dropped George and one of the grill plates broke. Luckily, it still works! George is awesome!) Every single thing I have ever grilled on George is perfect! I mean it! And I use it constantly. The one I have has the removable grill plates so clean-up is unbelievably easy. If you want to get somebody a great gift, give them the gift of George Foreman. (I swear they’re not paying me. I just love this thing!)
With the pork chops grilled, I covered them with the stuffing. Next came the snap peas which were totally easy. They came out crunchy and buttery and savory!
Despite a few hiccups this meal really was easy, and including the time it took to bake the corn bread, really did take about 30 minutes. The meal as a whole was tasty, filling, and looked like a lot more work than what it actually was. I’m not the best chef in the world, but my husband thought I was that night! I’m thinking I’ll be using my Rachel Ray 30-Minute Meals cookbook a lot more often now. Mmmm…Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss looks good…