The Spring Cleaning New Recipe Challenge: “The Best Crock Pot Pork Chops Ever,” Rice, and Peas with Red Pepper

New Recipe Challenge

Weeks ago, my mom told me about a recipe that was extremely successful in my sister’s family.  It was a slow cooker recipe for pork chops that used ranch seasoning and condensed creamy soup.  EVERYONE in my sister’s family loved it (a major feat).  My sister thought I should try it.

My mom tried it a bit later, and she was positive about the results.

When my sister visited my mom last week, my brother-in-law raved about the recipe.

I had already had it on the meal plan tentatively.  I mean, this recipe has almost a cult following in the Pinteresting Blogosphere, much like kale chips.  Yes, I should have been afraid.

So, with a bit of trepidation (being that it was a slow cooker recipe and Josh is not that found of slow cooker recipes), I added it to the challenge for this week, the only pork dish.  One of three slow cooker offerings.

I guess I should preface this paragraph with:  I have a pork loin I recently purchased in the garage freezer, waiting to meet the “meat factory bee-sheen,” as Muffin calls the meat grinder attachment on the Kitchen Aid.  I would have been willing (sort of…well…under extreme duress) to sacrifice part of the roast for tonight’s challenge offering.  Maybe.

But I KNEW there were pork chops (cut from a pork loin from before we had the meat grinder) somewhere in the kitchen fridge.  So, I had Josh search for them.  This might be a good time to mention that my freezers are not exactly organized.  And, at times, if you open the freezer half of the kitchen refrigerator, you might want to step back out of the way because you never know what might fly out, frozen solid, to conk you on the head or fracture a bone in your foot.  Now is one of those times.  Josh managed to dig a set of pork chops (three, to be exact) out of the bowels of the kitchen freezer.  Of course, this involved removing most of the freezer’s contents and putting them back in place.

I’m pretty sure there are others in there somewhere…but we didn’t find them.

The pork chops might have been a bit…oldish.  Which may have determined the final result.  Possibly.

Since I decided to make the Homemade Ranch Seasoning from Gimme Some Oven without the buttermilk powder (as I didn’t have any and it’s one of the more expensive ingredients on the spice/baking aisle), I decided to add to the tablespoon of seasoning that I was going to include in the dish one-half cup of milk mixed with half a tablespoon of white vinegar to make buttermilk.  I let it sit out for fifteen minutes or so this morning, whisking every few minutes (to make it thick and not lumpy or clumpy–lumpy or clumpy buttermilk is not good eats), before adding the liquid to the ranch seasoning.  Then, I whisked like a maniac.  I slowly incorporated the buttermilk’ed ranch seasoning into the condensed cream of chicken soup.  It looked yummy.  I might try making it as a cream of ranch chicken soup next time, diluting it with milk and eating it as soup.

Following the rules for enchiladas, I spread a bit of the sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker to provide a saucy bed for the pork chops.  Only two of the three fit on the bottom layer, so I slathered some sauce on those two before topping them with the final chop and dumping the rest of the sauce over the mixture.

I cooked it on low for 4 hours (which was plenty).  I served the contents over rice with the chops on the side and with a healthy serving of peas and peppers.

Verdict:  Josh mentioned freezer burn after tasting these.  The sauce on the chops and the rice was good, though.  The recipe is Muffin Approved.

But here’s what I did with amounts in one easy highlight and print selection thing (because I haven’t quite figured out yet how to set up a printable recipe thing on Word Press)

Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops

adapted from Raining Hot Coupons

3 pork chops, cut from a boneless pork loin, thawed

the equivalent of 2 cans of cream of chicken soup (one recipe of the condensed soup from Gimme Some Oven)

one packet of ranch seasoning or 1 tablespoon Homemade Ranch Seasoning from Gimme Some Oven

one-half cup buttermilk (or half a cup of milk whisked with half a tablespoon of vinegar or some other acid)

additional freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Whisk together the ranch seasoning and buttermilk.  Whisk the ranch buttermilk into the cream of chicken soup until smooth.  Ladle and spread about 2 tablespoons of the ranch-y soup mixture on the bottom of your slow cooker.  Layer pork chops and sauce, dumping the remaining sauce over the contents after the last pork chop is placed.  Crack on some black pepper.  Cook on low for four hours.  Serve pork chops with rice on the side covered with the sauce.

Yes, I had to add some color because the tan and white was killing me.  So, I made up a recipe on the fly.


Peas and Peppers

12 ounces frozen green peas (petite, if possible)

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

3 cups water

freshly cracked black pepper

one bouillon cube (chicken)

Microwave the contents on high for three minutes.  Stir.  Microwave three more minutes or until hot.  Stir.  Drain in a colander and serve.

It should be noted that this is the recipe that made Muffin like red bell peppers.  He said they taste like strawberries.  :)


Rice

Note:  Rice and pasta have often eluded me (at least perfectly cooked specimens of both).  I still struggle with pasta, but my husband has finally taught me an almost foolproof formula.  Gone are the days where I have hard uncooked grains, mushy grains, and perfectly cooked grains all in the same pot.

2 cups water

1 cup rice (long grain, white, Louisiana-grown, preferably)

1/2 tablespoon butter or margarine (preferably unsalted)

1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Bring the water to a boil over high heat with salt and butter.  Once boiling, stir in rice and cover, reducing the heat to low.  Allow the water to be absorbed until there is no visible evidence of water in the pot (around 20-25 minutes).  Fluff with a fork and serve while hot.

Muffin Approved

How was your dinner this evening?

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