Pork Loin Chops in a Crock Pot

I love crock pot meals when I am really busy. The other day I had a ton going on, and I knew I was not going to be home to cook dinner, but wanted my sweet hubby and my brother who was helping with the kids, to have dinner. The nice thing about crock pot meals is that when you do have time, in the morning, you can toss everything in and not think about it for the rest of the day! It was so great just knowing it was there and not having to rush before I had to leave.

So… CROCK POT meals! You can use it in the summer or the winter… cold or hot outside… there’s always a good reason to use a crock pot.

Pork Loin Chops in a crock pot:

wpid-1430326834478.jpg

Servings: 2… so double for more…

Ingredients:

1 butterflied pork loin chop – 1.5 lbs
1 TB flavored vinegar (I used a pear/cranberry vinegar that I got from an oilery)
2 TB olive oil
Cooking spray to grease the inside of the crock pot
1 onion sliced thin
1 clove garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
5 carrots cut into large pieces
8 yukon gold potatoes quartered (I washed and did NOT peel)
1/4 cup white wine
2 TB unsalted butter
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 cup chicken broth

wpid-1430326945095.jpg

Directions:

Cut up the carrots, onions and potatoes and set aside. Take the pork loin butterflied pork chop (or 2 separate thick-cut pork chops) and salt and pepper both sides evenly. Heat a skillet on medium and put 1 TB olive oil in the skillet. Sear both sides of the pork chop for 2-3 minutes per side and place into the bottom of the crock pot. Put all of the veggies and starches on top. Sprinkle all the seasoning and then add the liquids. Then take the butter and cut into small pieces and placed intermittently on top of the meat and veggies. Let cook for 6-8 hours on LOW or 4-5 hours on HIGH.

It is a wonderful blend of sweet and salty… it’s got a great savory taste with just a hint of sweet. My husband and brother RAVED over this, and the pork just FELL APART when it was ready. WINNER!!!

Try this one for sure!!

And now… a bit of a giggle for the quote of the day:

This blackboard was in a pub/restaurant in Devon, UK and I have kept the photo ever since to remind myself that I should not be afraid to try something new and that no matter how old I get, there are still new people to meet, experiences to have and things to learn every day!

Grilled Pork Chops, Escalloped Potatoes and Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Image

This was quite yummy! I kind of put it together at the last minute… I was going to make something else today, but realized I forgot to buy fish!! OOPS! So, a bit of a heavier meal, but perfect after a long day. Turned out yummy!

INGREDIENTS:

Costa Rican Cocoa Porkchops:

4 thick center cut pork chops
2 TB unsweetened baking cocoa
1 packet of instant coffee (the one that’s about 1 tsp. amount, for 1 cup of coffee)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. chili powder
2 TB sunflower (or canola) oil
1 tsp. sea salt

Image

Mix all seasonings together in a bowl, and make a paste. I cooked these on the grill pan. I heated it up, and salted the pan. I then spread the paste onto one side of the pork chops and set the paste side down onto the grill pan. Then, while that side was cooking, I spread the paste onto the other side. I let it cook for 8 minutes per side, until fully cooked through, no pink.

Escalloped Potatoes (I made them dairy free, you can substitute for butter and milk if you wish)

7 yukon gold potatoes, large
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 cups milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk. You can use 1/2&1/2 or milk)
2-3 TB butter (I used Smart Balance Olive Oil margarine)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp. grated parmesan (on top)

Image

Slice the potatoes thin. I used a hand-held mandolin, but you can do so with a knife, just try to make all slices as similar in size as possible. The thinner the better. Once sliced, you layer. Put 1/3 of the slices into the bottom of a coated 9×13 pan. Then, combine the flour, pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir. Then put 1/3 of it sprinkled onto the bottom layer of the potatoes. Then, put bits (1/3 of the butter) of the butter onto that layer. Then, top with another 1/3 of the potatoes and repeat the process 2x until you have 3 total layers. Then, top with 1 tsp of grated parmesan. Heat up the 2 cups of milk in a sauce pan. Should only take 3 minutes or so. Then, pour over the top of the layers of potatoes. Then, cover with foil, and bake at 375 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes. Take out when all potatoes are soft.

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts: 

15 Brussel sprouts halved
1-2 TB olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt&pepper

Put the halved brussel sprouts in a single layer on a coated cookie sheet, drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle with salt&pepper. Then sprinkle with a bit of balsamic vinegar on each one.