Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Snark-Free Sunday - Asian-Cajun (Con)Fusion Stuffed Pork Chops

I've been trying for close to an hour, but I can't get out of bed. Does this suck or what? I have cooking to do! The days when my family had a choice between 6 different gourmet entrees is long gone, but they still gotta eat, so once a week, having gathered every extra spoon I could, I try to make one nice dinner with leftovers. This is the day.

So, I finally managed to slide down the stairs without dropping the little girl dog I was clutching in one arm. I did not manage to swallow my medication before doing so, and my landing was all wibbly-wobbly. I am over sensitive to light and sound, and I do not trust my hands to chop so much as a shallot. Despite the fact that Rob emptied the dishwasher and Cory refilled it, the sight of a clean sink did not cheer me up as much as usual.  I hurt all over, my brain is a bit fuzzy, my arms are itching like I have chicken pox, and I am cranky. Really down-in-the-dumps, growly, frowning cranky.

The cooking was going to have to be ridiculously simple or it wasn't going to happen. Short of emptying cans into the crockpot, this is one of the simplest recipes I could think of given the ingredients at hand. I based it on an old Betty Crocker recipe which I cross-pollinated with my mother's even older recipe for stuffed pork chops, and after throwing everything together in some semblance of order, spun my prayer wheel and hoped for the best. Here you go:

Asian-Cajun Stuffed Pork Chops

Stuffing :
2 1/2-3 cups crumbled corn muffins
1 cup seasoned dry stuffing mix
1 - 14.75 oz. can cream style sweet corn
1 cup frozen gumbo mix vegetables (okra, corn, celery, onions, sweet red peppers) rinsed under hot water and well-drained (measure after draining)
Salt, pepper, smoked paprika, granulated garlic
Parsley flakes, ground sage, crushed rosemary, thyme leaves
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten

5 lbs. thinly-sliced boneless pork chops (about 18 chops)
Garlic pepper, sweet paprika
1 - 20.75 oz. bottle Panda Express Orange Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine stuffing ingredients and set aside.  Lay out half of the chops in 2 aluminum baking dishes which have been sprayed lightly with the no-stick stuff. Divide the stuffing evenly onto the chops. Cover the stuffing with the remaining chops. Season the tops with the garlic pepper and sweet paprika. Cover and bake for 1 1/4 hours.

Remove from oven, uncover and carefully pour off the liquid in each pan. Next, pour the orange sauce evenly over the top of each chop and return to the oven, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes, basting once or twice.

And that's it. That easy, that delicious. And most importantly, my boys won't starve.

My arms are too tired to knit which also sucks as I am crazy about the particular colorway I am using. The feel of this yarn - an acrylic! - is so very pleasant against my hands (while the rest of me screams when touched) and the whole process is so restful. Assuming, of course, that I can support the weight of two small bamboo knitting needles and an ounce or two of yarn, which at the moment I am not. Crap. If I don't knit, I read the news and when I read the news I get emotional and when I get emotional I get snarky, especially concerning the candidate known as "Big Orange, Tiny Digits."

And that's enough of that.

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