Saturday, March 14, 2015

Smothered Pork Chops

This is an easy dish, just be patient on the baking time.  Very tasty and worth the time they take to bake.  These could also be placed into a crockpot and cooked for 5-7 hours on low or about 3-5 hours on high.  This recipe makes a lot; feel free to half the recipe.

8-10 small pork chops (I used boneless ones but the ones with bones would be more flavorful)
Favorite seasoned salt
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil for browning the meat
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
1-2 medium yellow onions, cut into thin wedges
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup flour
1 can beef broth

Season both sides of the pork chops with the seasoned salt.  Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add the coconut oil.  Quickly brown the pork chops (don’t get them done, just browned) in the melted coconut oil.  Place them in a medium roasting pan or dutch oven.  Put the onions into the hot pan and sauté for a few minutes, just to brown a bit.  Pour them over the meat. 

Add the bacon drippings and garlic, stir to combine.  Sprinkle the flour over the bottom of the skillet and stir to combine.  Allow to cook until slightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.  Slowly add the broth.  Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until it’s bubbly and starting to thicken.  Pour over the meat and onions.  Put the lid on the pan.  Bake at 350 for 1 1/2-2 hours, until desired tenderness (this will depend on the size of the chops).  Be sure to check them after one hour and every 20 minutes or so after that.

Serve with vegetables and mashed potatoes or rice.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake

I got this idea from a Cook’s Country episode.  I altered it because I’ve never had much luck making my own strawberry layer cake.  I was afraid of the layers sliding since there are sliced strawberries between the layers so I made 9 inch square layers instead of round.

To me, this is a cross between a strawberry shortcake and a strawberry cake.  The fresh sliced strawberries really add a great taste!  And the cream cheese frosting isn’t as sweet as plain strawberry frosting.

2 layers of your favorite strawberry cake (I chose Pillsbury strawberry cake mix), baked and cooled
8 ounces washed strawberries
2/3 to 3/4 cup strawberry solids (I chopped strawberries with my food processor, then strained them—you probably need about 1 1/2 cups strawberries, then you will have some juice to use for something else)
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
10 tablespoons butter, softened
3 ½ to 4 cups powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese and butter.  Add the strawberry solids and mix until combined.  Beat in the powdered sugar a little at a time.  Place frosting in the refrigerator.

Hull and slice the strawberries.  Lay the slices out on paper towels to get some moisture out of them.  Use another paper towel to place over the strawberries to pat the tops dry.

Level the cake layers.  Place one layer, cut side down onto a platter.  Place a thin layer of frosting on top.  Arrange sliced strawberries over the frosting.  Place another layer of frosting over the strawberries.  Cover with the 2nd layer, cut side down.  Frost the rest of the cake.  Arrange sliced strawberries on top as desired.
Store in the refrigerator until serving.

You will probably have frosting leftover.  I put the cut tops from the cake on a plate and frost them.  It would probably be good on toasted English muffins too.  Or strawberry shortcakes. Of course, eating with a spoon is good too.  I'm thinking it would even taste good on cardboard!