June 24, 2020 – Anytime the word surprise is in the title of a recipe I feel a certain level of concern. Even if I am the one creating the recipe the “surprise” is likely still unknown to me. It generally means I have no preconceived idea of what I am making. This was certainly true for this dinner.
I took out pork chops to thaw in the morning and then got on with the day. I didn’t give it a second thought until it was almost dinner time. These pork chops would be tough to ruin. They are thick and juicy. Kate gets them in the monthly ButcherBox delivery.
As I have said in previous posts I have learned searing is a beautiful thing, especially with chops, it holds the juices in. I put a smatter of butter in a non-stick pan and a light sprinkle of sea salt and pepper on each side of the chops. I cooked them for about 3 minutes on each side.
While the searing was going on I began my search of the pantry for the surprise elements of the meal. I came up with:
6 diced dried apricot halves
Half an onion chopped up
Light balsamic salad dressing + vegetable broth
Gluten-free mac and cheese (the quinoa kind)
And of course the two pork chops
After searing the pork chops I put them in a small baking dish. I poured in vegetable broth to come up midway to the chops and then added the balsamic dressing to the top of the chops. I put the onions in the fluid in the pan and the apricots on top of the pork chops. I cooked them for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.
About 20 minutes prior to the chops being finished I put the Brussel sprouts in the Insta Pot. To prep the sprouts peel off the outer layer of leaves and cut off the stem-like pieces then take what is left and coat in some olive oil.
Overall, it was a pretty good dinner. It was tasty but a little high in calories due to the mac and cheese.
I estimate each serving was 680 calories. My personal preference is for dinner to hang in the 500 to 600 calorie range.
Until the next time!