Monday, November 14, 2011

A New Type of Challenge

Aaaaannnd I'm back.

So, there's something you should know about me. I'm super competitive. As in, I hate to lose at pretty much anything, be it trivia, Scrabble, sports, the lottery (haha), bets of any kind. Type A, anyone?

That means I also love a good challenge. Like this little recipe thing I have happening. So, that's why for this week I have decided to roll out my personal "time" challenge.

I see so many recipes that are supposed to be FAST and EASY and TIME SAVERS. And they very rarely live up to the hype. Therefore, when planning my menu for the week, I decided to select recipes from three of my newest pubs promising stress-free meal prep and put it to the test. Kind of like my own Top Chef Quick Fire Challenge, except without the cooking talent or chef-y competitors at my side. But, with the fun addition of some kind of competition! I bet you are tingling in anticipation!

Side note: I have kind of gone a little recipe magazine mad, scooping up a good half-dozen or so new ones in the past week (including what I already subscribe to). Yes, I'm addicted.

On to tonight's challenge: Everyday with Rachael Ray's "Deviled Pork Chops with Apples and Squash."
(November 2011)

The promise? "15-Minute Dinner Deals"

  • 4 thin cut bone-in pork chops (about 4oz each) - used boneless
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 c. panko
  • 3 tbsp veggie oil (used 2 tbsp canola)
  • 1 tbsp butter (used no-salt added)
  • 2 fuji apples, sliced (chopped them up)
  • 1 10-oz bag frozen, cubed squash
  • Season chops with salt/pepper, brush with mustard then coat with panko.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil to med-high. Add the chops and cook, turning once until browned, about 8 mins.
  • Meanwhile, in a med nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally until crisp-tender, approx 3 mins. Add squash and 1/4 c. water. Cover and cook until just heat through about 3 mins. Serve with chops.
Nutritionals: RR does not provide them. Which is annoying. And I don't feel like looking them all up.

Well, this meal is certainly very fast. I actually had to stall until the boys got home from basketball practice. I did cheat a little - my chops were thicker than what the recipe call for, so I pan seared them first, then finished them off in the oven. I also let the apple/squash combo get a little mushier than the recipe called for (on purpose - baby food, peeps). I liked the apple/squash combo a lot - the kid did not like it at all, and the hubs dealt with it. The chops themselves were OK - not super flavorful, but easy. But, the recipe 100 percent did live up to its promise of 15 minutes.

Two Forks

More colorful in real life

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