I voted Thursday at the courthouse. And BOY am I glad I did. There was no time this morning, and for sure there will be no time later. Anticipating this, I went to the courthouse last Thursday and took advantage of the early voting they offered there this year.
Civic duty? Check!
So, aiming for a quick and easy meal, last night I served up an old standby.
Apple Chops and Onion Rice.
I must preface this by apologizing, because I am NOT going to post the recipe for my Hot Apple Pie. Nope. Not a chance. Often imitated, but never duplicated, that one is mine, all mine! SO, if you want to make this one (and I do recommend it) you can just use a nice flavorful cider from an orchard (if possible), or a nice bottled hard cider. No worries about the alcohol, it'll cook off.
What is Hot Apple Pie, you ask? I have a feeling it may be a regional thing, so I'll explain. Basically it is a mix of apple cider or juice (depending on who you ask) various other spices and sweeteners, and alcohol, cooked down and bottled. In my town, you frequently see (a poor excuse for this) served in a shot glass at local bars. Where I used to tend bar in Iowa, we served it in a rocks glass, warmed in the microwave for just 10 seconds. Just enough to warm it up, not enough to burn off the alcohol. And in the cold winter months, I would line up a slew of these on the bar at 5:03pm exactly, as the local construction and factory workers were filing in the door, peeling off their coveralls and shaking off the winter chill. Its also great for cold weather outdoor activities. Post-skiing, four-wheeling, etc.
But enough about that!
4-6 pork chops (I prefer loin cut, but your choice!) salt and peppered on both sides
Sear the chops in a little oil in a VERY hot pan, to a nice golden brown on both sides, but not completely cooked through.
While the pan is still screamin' hot, pour in 1 cup of Hot Apple Pie (or other substitute) and let the sucker boil down to almost nothing, turning the chops to let the caramelly goodness glaze them on both sides.
That's it. How yummy do those look?
As for the onion rice. This is NOT a gourmet dish. This IS a pantry lifesaver. Healthiest side dish on the planet? No. Does everyone that I've ever served it to scarf it down anyway? Yes. One disclaimer. My sister in law (who originally passed this recipe on to me) also adds a drained can of mushrooms to her version of this. If you like mushrooms, go for it. I, however, am allergic, so that is not on my list of ingredients.
In a large bowl ( has to be able to fit in the microwave) combine the following:
1 stick of oleo or butter (whatever you have on hand)
2 cups of minute rice
1 can beef broth (I like the seasoned variety)
1 can french onion soup
(1 can of mushrooms, drained, if you are so inclined and not sharing it with me!)
Microwave 15 minutes. Stir. Consume.
Is that not the easiest meal you've ever seen? Warm up some peas or green beans and you've got the whole she-bang. I challenge anyone out there reading this to say they can't make this meal. Seriously. I dare you.
Just as a side note, this even beats Rachel Ray. Last night, I put the rice in the microwave, and by the time it was done cooking, the chops were done, too. To heck with 30 minute meals! This one is a FIFTEEN minute meal!