Unless you’ve been lucky enough to eat my cooking, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m a freaking wizard in the kitchen. Just ask Hector, he is probably the luckiest dude on the planet because I can not only cook but manage to not give him salmonella or food poisoning while I do it! The only problem these days is finding time between a crazy class and internship schedule, generally speaking I now only cook on the weekends (much to his disappointment). I’ve been messing around in the kitchen ever since I can remember, my mom and I would watch cooking shows on TV while I was growing up instead of cartoons and I loved it. I was a huge Nigella Lawson fan back when she was still on Food Network and to this day Rachel Ray is a personal hero of mine.
While I can go all-out and make a fantastic 5 course spread for dinner, let’s be real right now and say ain’t nobody got time for that. I try and stick to fast meals that can be thrown together in a cinch without sacrificing flavor (Hector is Hispanic, meaning everything needs to have hot sauce in it or he freaks out). As soon as Fall rolls around I love breaking out the crock pot and turning on the oven again, particularly because they do all of the work for you. I thought I’d share with ya Hector’s favorite dinner and a staple recipe that my mom taught me growing up, it can even be dressed up a little for if you have company and the best part is it requires very little babysitting past the food prep part. I’m all about it. If you give this recipe a shot, take a picture for Instagram and tag me (@victoriasneden), I love seeing what you guys are up to out there in the blogosphere!
What You’ll Need
Center Cut Pork Chops (1 per person)
1 Can diced/stewed/whole peeled tomatoes (I’m not picky about this)
1 box of rice (Near East/ Uncle Ben’s/ Zataran’s)
How to Cook:
1. Rinse off your chops and pat them dry. Roll them in the bread crumbs until they’re completely coated. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Pan fry until they’re nice and brown (hey I said it was quick, I never said healthy)
3. Empty rice and seasoning packet into your oven-proof vessel, include whatever water measurements are recommended. Skip the oil or butter though, we added enough fat from frying already
4. Open and dump in a can of tomatoes
5. Mix that around then lay chops on top
6. Bake for around 40-45 minutes or until rice is fully cooked and tender.
Tip: If there’s quite a bit of liquid left in the dish (like it hasn’t fully evaporated) take the lid off of your vessel and let it cook for another 10-15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
And that’s it. Simple, right? It’s literally a set-it-and-forget-it meal that comes out perfect every single time. I’ve messed around with this recipe a ton and a great addition is using fire-roasted tomatoes instead of your usual bland variety. Throw in some corn and black beans to make it a little more Mexican. Or go the Italian route and throw in some Parmesan cheese, the options are endless. I usually serve this with steamed broccoli or if I’m feeling particularly lazy, roasted asparagus. Throw a tray of asparagus into the oven seasoned with olive oil/salt/pepper during the last fifteen minutes of cooking the chops and your whole meal will be done at once.
I love the magic of cooking, don’t you?