Photos by DiAne N. Gates
Long as I can remember Mama’s pork chop and rice casserole was the standard go-to supper when Mama was busy, tired, and needed to get something on the table. Short prep time, so delicious, and is just as good if there are left-overs.
The next few weeks with shopping, wrapping, and entertaining you need a few go-to meals that satisfy yet are easy on your budget and schedule. This one is an old iron skillet favorite at our house.
Let me know how you like this comfort food!
4 center-cut pork chops (more if your family is larger)
1 cup white rice uncooked
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
3 15 oz. cans of tomatoes (I used a good brand of canned basil, garlic and onion tomatoes)
¼ cup green chilies or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or both if y’all like spicy)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop onions and garlic and set aside. Salt and pepper both sides of pork chops and brown them with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large iron skillet. Remove chops from pan and sauté onions and garlic ‘til soft. Add three cans of tomatoes and green chilies and/or red pepper flakes and one additional cup of water. Salt and pepper sauce. Bring to a boil. Sprinkle cup of rice over the entire surface of tomato sauce. Do not stir. Place browned pork chops on top of tomato, rice mix and pour juice from plate over the mixture.
Place uncovered skillet in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Check to see if you need more water as this cooks, add in ½ cup increments. Moisture should be absorbed by rice and chops browned.
I serve in the skillet. And oh, my goodness, this is heartwarming soul food!
NOTCHA GRANDMA’S GREENS
Photos by DiAne N. Gates
2 bunches greens (I use turnip and mustard greens)
1 meaty ham hock
½ onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 fresh tomato cubed
1 can chicken or vegetable stock
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Sort and wash rough chopped greens—three times. In other words, place chopped greens in a sink full of cold water. Swish and remove them by handfuls into colander. Drain water from sink, rinse, and refill sink and place greens back into the water. Repeat this process two more times. Else your greens will be gritty and that’s just plain nasty.
Place ham hock in soup pot and sauté with 1 tablespoon olive oil ‘til a bit browned. Add onions, garlic, tomato and carrot. Salt and pepper to taste and cook ‘til soft. About three or four minutes. Pour can of chicken stock over the onions and hock and fill soup can to brim with water and pour that into the stock/onion mix too. Add greens, salt and pepper, and sugar over the top of greens and stir. Add balsamic vinegar. Give one more stir. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.
Makes a great accompanying veggie for the pork chops. If you have a moment to spare grab a cornbread mix and make some muffins according to package label. Your children will rise up and call you blessed! I promise. And while all that’s cooking you can wrap a few packages, fold a load of clothes, or just sit and have a nice glass of wine.