Making the Food
So this was the recipe I made the other day. And let me tell you all…. It was soooo scrumptious! I’m not too much of a “healthy food” lover and I’ve been working on trying things different ways to see if I end up liking them. (I’m going to attempt asparagus tonight!! 😀 little nervous as that’s something I have never tried!)
So when I looked in the fridge and all we had was some sweet potatoes and boneless pork chops I asked my man what he was thinking to do with it all (he’s been the one cooking for the last year and is finally making me step up my game.) So he said I can try making just a simple butter and thyme pork chops and something with the potatoes, maybe fries?
And so I headed over to my trusty Pinterest and started scrolling through options on what to make. I’ve been craving some roasted potatoes, I mean in my mind they were red skin potatoes, but I thought I’ll try with the sweet potatoes. Can’t be THAT bad!! So I was settled on what to do with the potatoes. I started dicing them up into small, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes, and put them in a mixing bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and some garlic powder. Mixed that up and laid them in a flat layer on a cookie sheet and into the preheated oven for 32 minutes.
Now on to the pork chops. So, a little story before I continue…. I am a salty food lover… MAJOR salty food lover. Like, David has made me cut A LOT of salt from my diet, these pork chops included. Like, when growing up my favorite meal was pork chops, green beans, and Fettuccine Alfredo…. doesn’t sound bad right? Well let me deviate from this health post to tell you how the delicious awful food was made. Boxed Fettuccine Alfredo – enough said…. Green beans – from a can, drained of their water/juice and set on stove to simmer in about a stick of butter and garlic salt…. And now for my favorite which I have refrained from eating over the past three years – Pork Chops – made in a cast iron skillet with a stick of butter to start, seasoned salt, and meat tenderizer… once the meat starts to cook good on one side, flip and season again, cook, and repeat with flipping and seasoning… and repeat… and repeat… until they are fully cooked, adding butter when needed because all of the salt and meat tenderizer soaks up the frying butter.
Mmmmmm so good but sooo bad. Especially when my favorite part was mixing bits of pork chop with the pasta and adding a spoonful of the cooking butter and cooked seasonings from the pan to make it even saltier and buttery. SMH. I’m a little disappointed I used to eat like that, but I do have to concede…. it was delicious.
So now I have the sides started but no meat cooking. Only takes about 8 minutes in the oven but I wanted to start them on the stove to get a nice little sear. Instead of following any recipe I decided I would just jump into and hope it tastes good! And lucky enough it did. 🙂
The pork chops I started off by spraying with the olive oil and adding some seasonings – salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Mixed that up to coat every piece nicely and started the cast iron on the stove top. Got it to a nice temp to sear the chops and dropped a TABLESPOON of butter into the pan, getting a nice browned butter, and then dropping in the pork. Sear for about 2 minutes on each side, and then into the oven to finish cooking. About 2 minutes before the potatoes were done I pulled out the chops (after being in the oven for about 6 minutes) and they were perfect. I wrapped them in some tinfoil to try to keep them hot while I finished pulling out and plating the sweet potatoes.
I accidentally over-cooked the chops a little bit – maybe less in the oven would have been helpful – maybe marinading them for a bit would have kept them more tender. But they weren’t bad and I could have been a little heavier on the seasonings. As for the potatoes they were delicious. Usually I have to dip my sweet fires in ketchup or honey or BBQ sauce, but after trying them without condiments I really didn’t need any. This was a great small dinner that we both enjoyed and Molly got to have a bite of too because I was so full!
Roasted Garlic Sweet Potatoes
- 1-2 large sweet potatoes (really as many as you want)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (I used spray olive oil)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 450
- Dice sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces (1/2-3/4 inch cubed)
- Place diced potatoes in mixing bowl with oil – toss until all pieces are covered
- Add seasonings and toss until covered
- Place in a flat layer on baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are tender (32 mins was perfect for me)
- Pull out of oven – Turn oven OFF – enjoy!
Butter and Thyme Pan Seared and Roasted Pork Chops
- Pork Chops (I used boneless and only used 3)
- olive oil spray
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 tspgarlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- If you are cooking the potatoes as well you can use the same temp (just know they will probably be a little drier – 400 is preferred for moister meat) Start Cast Iron pan on stove at medium heat to heat up
- Place meat in mixing bowl and spay slightly generously with olive oil – toss to make sure they are covered completely
- Add seasonings and mix until covered evenly
- Add 1 tbsp butter to pan and lightly brown- try not to burn the butter or it’ll taste like crap
- sear one side of pork chops for about 2 minutes and flip
- Place cast iron pan in oven and bake for 4-6 minutes until meat is cooked fully and tender (I actually had to take the pork chops off the cast iron after about 2 minutes in the oven because I was using the 450 F temp – Butter was burning and smoking out my kitchen – I ended up wrapping the pork chops in tinfoil with 1 tbsp of butter and some extra thyme and baking that way for the remaining 4 minutes)
- Pull out of oven and let sit 1 minute – Turn oven OFF – enjoy!
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Dan Millman