November 11, 2007


Skillet meals: Out of the frying pan, onto the table (Amy McConnell Schaarsmith, 11/04/07, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Instead of combing through cookbooks, searching the Internet or rifling through that tangle of torn-out recipes when you need to grocery shop and make a meal, put together a list of 30 favorite family recipes -- one for every night of the month. And then make them again and again and again.

It worked for Ma. It worked for Grandma. It will work for you.

Your repertoire should vary among beef, chicken, pork, fish and veggie dishes. It helps if you mix several types of time-saving dishes.

One night you might stick a casserole in the oven while you finish folding laundry or helping the kids with homework or reading some research for a project at work. Another night you might whip up something quick in the skillet. And another you might simply reheat a slow-cooker dish you simmered up over the weekend or put together before heading out to the office that morning.

And don't be afraid of shortcuts such as soup mixes, gravy packets, canned or frozen produce and simple, inexpensive combinations of meat, vegetables and pasta or rice. They're time-honored tools for getting dinner together in a hurry. If using them means your family can sit down together for a home-cooked meal, there's no shame in that. [...]



* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 4 pork loin chops, about 4 ounces each
* Salt to taste
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
* 1 sprig fresh sage, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
* 3 tart apples, peeled (optional), cored and sliced
* 2 cups apple cider
* 1 1/2 cups couscous

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Season pork chops with salt and pepper and sear on both sides. In same pan, add onion, sage and apples, turn heat to medium-high, and cook until onions are golden brown, apples have softened and chops have cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring apple cider to a boil in a small saucepan, stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let sit about 5 minutes until couscous has absorbed all the cider.

Divide couscous among four plates, then top each with a pork chop and the apple-onion mixture.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 11, 2007 6:33 AM
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