January 22, 2011

Why, hello again! Remember me?

Posted in Cooking at 11:36 AM by Robin

If you are an old reader of my blog (which means you are probably related to me in some way), thank you for coming back. If you are a new reader, welcome. I used to use this blog as an outlet to express my frustrations, share something I was excited about, and, let’s admit it, try to impress people with my wit and deep thinking. I might still do that on occasion, but I am just going to keep things simple for right now.

My new blog concept, inspired by my sister-in-law,  is just to share with you what I make for dinner. I believe that, despite the popularity of cooking channels, real cooking is becoming a lost art. I cook home-made, from-scratch meals almost every single night for my family, and I often feel a little embarrassed to admit this because people look at me kind of funny when I do. The main reason for this choice is that once I started really cooking, I think I began to spoil my tastebuds. I simply can no longer tolerate frozen, canned, or packaged dinners anymore because they just taste awful to me. I don’t mean to sound like a food snob, but I truly think that if you cook from scratch, it tastes better, it’s better for you, and most of the time, it’s not a lot harder than than opening a bag of something frozen and sticking it in the microwave.

I also have joined my husband this month on starting a low carb diet. We are following phase 1 on the Atkins diet, which restricts us from pretty much anything with carbs in it: bread, fruit, pasta, rice, cereal, starchy veggies like squash and potatoes, and, of course, sugar.  As we progress towards our weight loss goal, we will be able to add some of these items back in moderation, but for now, most of the recipes I will be posting will be Atkins friendly.

So, enough said. Here is my first contribution.

Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions

I love caramelized onions. What could be easier? Or cheaper? This recipe would actually work well with any cut of meat, such as chicken or steak, but I love it with pork chops. In fact, this recipe is so easy, I’m not even going to include an ingredient list.

Prep Time: Five minutes

Active Cooking Time ( the time you actually have to stand at the stove doing something): maybe ten minutes

Inactive Cooking Time (when it’s cooking all by itself): twenty minutes


Get as many pork chops as you need to feed your family. Rinse them in water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Sometimes I also use a meat seasoning mixture as well, whatever your favorite is.

Place a large skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat (use one that has a lid). Add a little olive oil and butter to the pan (the butter makes the meat brown very nicely, but you need the olive oil to keep the butter from burning). When the butter has melted, brown the pork chops for about two or three minutes per side.

In the meantime, slice an onion or two (depending on how many of your children you can get to eat onions). When the pork chops have been browned, scatter the sliced onions on the top of them. It may look like a whole lot of onions, but as they cook down, they will reduce in size and get very sweet. Pour a cup or so of water in the pan, put on the lid, and reduce the heat to LOW. Set the timer for 20 minutes and walk away to do something else. (FYI–cooking something in a covered pan at low temperatures with a little bit of liquid is called braising, and results in fork tender, delicious meat).

When the timer goes off, come back and remove the meat from the pan and place on a serving platter. Turn the heat in the pan up to HIGH and boil off any remaining liquid until it’s thick and saucy. Dump the onions on top of the pork chops (or in a side dish, if you have picky kids) and serve.

Caramelized onions also are great on green beans, so they make a great side dish with this meal!