There are things in life that I have yet to see. That includes: the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel, a Volkswagen Beetle I didn’t like, a spider I wasn’t afraid of, a Pepsi I wouldn’t drink, a cookie I’d turn down. Also on the list of things I have yet to see? My mom eating a pork chop without making it into a sandwich.
In my near 30 years on Earth, I’ve never seen this happen. She grabs the pork chop that has been very plainly cooked, slaps it on a piece of bread, drowns it in ketchup and then sandwiches it between another piece of bread. Every time. Without fail. I get it, until a few years ago I only ate pork chops with ketchup too. But it gets a little boring sometimes so we switched it up.
These pork chops were a nice change from the plain ketchup-laden chops we usually have. I’m a big fan of caramelized onions and they definitely mixed perfectly with the pork. Maybe my mom will try this! Although her years of sandwich loyalty tell me otherwise.
In a frying pan over medium, heat 2 Tbsp. of oil. Once it gets hot, reduce temperature to medium-low and gradually whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook and whisk frequently until the mixture is the color of peanut butter.
Whisk in chicken broth in slow, steady streams. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Remove and set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in sauce pan over high heat until smoking. Brown the chops until deep golden brown on first side, 3 minutes. Flip and cook 3 minutes longer until browned on the other side. Remove and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and add remaining tablespoon of oil, onions and water to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently until the onions are soft, about five minutes.
Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return chops and cover them with onions. Pour in reserved sauce.
Cover, reduce to low and simmer until pork is tender, about 30 minutes.
Transfer chops to a serving platter. Increase heat to medium high and simmer sauce rapidly until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
If I had to sit and list my favorite foods, we could be here all day. Really, all week. It runs the gamut from sweets to salty to sour to crunchy. Anything with lemon. Anything sweet potato or butternut. All fruity candies except Dots (because really, who likes Dots?). But if I was forced to very quickly, off the top of my head, pick my absolute favorite food, it would be chicken fingers.
Not just any chicken fingers, mind you. Disney World’s chicken fingers. Seriously, if you haven’t had them then you must get there immediately and eat some. They will rock your world. I’m not sure what it is about them, they are just like any other chicken finger. It’s probably the atmosphere. It makes you drunk with excitement. And makes you feel like any food you are eating is the best food in the world. Where can you get a better turkey leg? Or Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream cone? No where. Same goes for the chicken fingers. They are unbeatable.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling like it has been entirely too long since I’ve gotten a fix in ways of my very serious addiction (that’d be Disney World), I’ll try and recreate something from the World. It doesn’t always turn out exactly the same but it definitely gives me the warm and fuzzies. I’m always ok with feeling like I’m in Disney World. Or at least like I should start planning another vacation soon. These chicken fingers do just that. They remind me of my most favorite place to be. Now, if only I could recreate that Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream cone for dessert…
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips
1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
1½ Tbsp. ranch powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
oil for frying
In a large dish, whisk your eggs with a little water.
In a flat dish, combine panko, ranch powder, salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
Take your chicken strips and dip them first in egg then in the breadcrumbs. Be sure to coat them well.
Heat up oil in a sauce pan to around 375 degrees. Place in the strips a few at a time. Allow them to get a dark golden brown on one side, then flip. After they are cooked through, remove and set on a drained paper towel.
Repeat until you have cooked all of your chicken.
– I used our deep fryer for this and it took 5 or so minutes to cook the chicken through. Results may vary if you use a frying pan.
Sometimes, I see cheesesteak recipes flying around the blogosphere and I cringe. Don’t get me wrong. Every one of those cheesesteaks is sure worth their salt. And I’m sure they taste delicious. But they aren’t cheesesteaks. They just aren’t. If you aren’t from the Philadelphia area, I don’t expect you to understand. But there are some very important factors in getting a cheesesteak right.
1. Chipped beef. Sure, you can use any cut of steak you want but really, if you want it to be authentic, go for the chipped beef. It breaks apart and crumbles so easily when you cook it. It’s crucial to a cheesesteak. You can find it in the frozen section of the grocery store.
2. Cheese, obvi. Now, if you head into South Philadelphia for a cheesesteak, you are gonna get ‘Wiz. Cheese Wiz. It makes for a deliciously fatty meal. I can’t bring myself to use ‘Wiz at home. So be sure to get American cheese and lots of it.
3. Onions. You can order a cheesesteak ‘Wiz without but really, the onions make it. Caramelize them. For a while. Until they are soft and buttery and delicious. Do it. You must.
4. A great, great roll. Amoroso makes some fantastic rolls that can be found in the grocery store aisle. The roll really does matter, it’s crucial.
These elements, people. They are the stepping stones to a fantastic, authentic cheesesteak. Nothing fancy. Cheesesteak isn’t MEANT to be fancy. It’s meant to be messy. And cheesy. And a little salty. And heavenly.
First, caramelize your onions. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions.
Let the onions sit a minute in the butter, then stir. Continue stirring every couple of minutes until the onions soften, then caramelize. Once they are soft and have absorbed all of the butter, remove from heat and set aside.
Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the chipped beef in sections.
As the beef cooks, run a spatula over it, breaking it into pieces and crumbling it. Once the section is completely crumbled, add the next piece.
Repeat until you have no more beef.
Once the beef is fully cooked, drain the grease.
Lay a few of the cheese slices on top of the beef and let it melt for a minute. Stir to combine.
Add the remaining cheese and let that melt on top.
Split your rolls down the center. Scoop a generous portion of meat onto each roll.
This has yet to be properly determined but I’m pretty sure B has a gluten intolerance. Any time I make homemade pizza or bread, I can actually hear his stomach sighing in frustration. It would make sense, his mom also has a gluten intolerance.
This past weekend, she gave me some gluten-free pointers. A girl on B’s hockey team also had tons of advice and suggestions, which is always great! I took some of their hints and made gluten-free chicken nuggets. I was pretty skeptical but they were great. Crispy and flavorful and completely without gluten!
*Note, I used this seasoning but you could use any mixture you’d like.
There is really only one person who drinks chocolate milk in our house. And by one person, I mean two adults. And by two adults, I mean Abby can’t stand chocolate milk. Isn’t that sort of a childhood right of passage, drinking gallons of chocolate milk? She also doesn’t drink soda…
In reality, I should be counting my blessings that she isn’t a serious junkfood junkie, like me. but really, this poses a problem. How can I buy three tubs of chocolate syrup without the grocery store cashier looking at me with disdain? It’s one thing when you’ve got a child with you and you can just sort of look at the girl behind the register and smile, saying “You know, for the kids.” But when you are buy yourself buying all of the chocolate syrup? It’s a more embarrassing event.
I learned how to make chocolate syrup at home to avoid just those looks. That and it’s cheaper and tastier and easier and more environmentally friendly. And with the way B and I guzzle chocolate milk, it is important to have lots on hand. Just in case there should ever be a zombie apocalypse. I know what I’m grabbing first.