Salted Boiling water
Sea Salt (this can now be found at the dollar store for $1.25 a salt mill)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil or EVOO
Parchment Paper (dollar store also carries this for cheap)
Potatoe Masher (or large bottomed glass as Ree mentions)
To get these going you will need to bring to a boil a large pot of salted water. Then drop in your potatoes of choice, either whole or cut in half as I did. The reason I cut mine in half is I used the Russet potatoes that I had on hand, although I know they would be delicious with the Golden potatoes we also buy from time to time.
Once your potatoes are tender to the touch of a fork, remove from the heat and drain the water out. Place your parchment paper down on a baking sheet and douse the parchment in EVOO. Please don't skimp on the EVOO as this will help the potatoes not to stick to the paper.
Place all your potatoes down on the EVOO covered parchment paper, making sure to get some oil under each one. Now the fun begins...take your potatoe masher and mash those babies down nice and flat.
Once they are all flat, pour some EVOO all over the tops of each one of those potatoes, sprinkle with Seat Salt and Pepper to taste. Place your potatoes on the top shelf of your 450 degree oven and bake for 20-25min depending on how hot your oven gets, until they are a nice golden brown.
Now don't tell me that your mouth is not watering right now...I know mine is just writing this and we ate these last night. I planned to put bacon bits on them but forgot so my next try with these will have fried onions and bacon bits on them...YUMMERIFIC!Feel free to add your own twist to them and comment below how they worked out.
On to the Main Course:
This past week when I went grocery shopping I purchased an uncut piece of pork as it was on an incredible sale. Paid just over $16 for it and will get 4 meals out of it so I am very happy. In my search for an equally incredible recipe for last nights portions I came across the blog called "Delight's Bites". Although I only just found her blog last night, a quick scan tells me that I will be back to try some of her other recipes. To start off my adaptation ofDelight's version, you will need the following ingredients:
4 Pork chops
1 Apple (I used a Red Delicious as that is what I had on hand but feel free to choose whatever brand)
6TBSP Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
2tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/8C Cream of Chicken Soup ( I am using the remainder of this can in my Tuna Casserole for tonight)
Handful of Cranberries
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Better known as EVOO in our house)
Start with heating your oven to a hot 350 degrees. Chop your apple and toss into your heated pan with the 1/2TBSP of butter. Turn your element down to medium heat and give your apples a good stir every once in a while as they brown and soften. Cook them like this for roughly 10 minutes. At this point you will need to add 3tbsp of the Maple Syrup, 2tsp of the Apple Cider Vinegar and 1/2tsp of Lemon Zest. Stir and let them simmer for 2 minutes. Now you can add your 1/8C of your Cream of Chicken soup and your handful of Cranberries. Mix well and heat through on the stove for approximately 5min. No need to wait for it to thicken as the soup is already thick enough.
Once your topping is done, you will need to take your pork chops and generously coat them in Sea Salt and dust with regular pepper. You can use cracked pepper as Delight does but I didn't have any on hand so we rolled with what we were given.
Heat your frying pan with a generous pour of EVOO and pop your chops in 1 by 1, browning up each side for roughly 2-3minutes depending on the thickness of your cut. Transfer all cooked chops to an oven safe dish and put the remaining 3tbsp of Maple Syrup on top of all your meat cuts. I'll be honest I just poured it straight from the syrup bottle so I am not exactly sure on how much I used. My advice to you is, use to your family's taste. Then go ahead add a few spoonfuls of your apple topping to each pork chop and cover the dish in foil.
Place your now covered dish into the 350 degree oven and bake for 20min or less depending on the thickness of your cut of meat.
Plate your potatoes, your pork chops with a side of vegies...in our case we used cucumber and tomato slices
...all I can say is there are no leftovers...so what are you waiting for?
Be Brave and Try Something New Today...feel free to share your comments below...I would love to hear from you.