Friday, November 6, 2009

Pork Chops and Wild Rice

There should be a picture of this meal, but there isn't--we ate ourselves into a food coma and I couldn't operate the camera in such a bloated state. This is one of my favorite winter meals. My mom got the original recipe from a friend twenty years ago and I've adapted it over the years to satisfy my own craving...

In a 9x13 baking dish, mix:
1 cup wild rice blend
1 cup brown rice
1 Tablespoon each--Garlic Powder and Italian Herb Blend (dried)
A bit of salt and pepper
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup (we use Amy's), plus enough chicken stock to make a total of 3 cups of liquid.

On top of the rice/soup/stock, scatter a sparse layer of sliced crimini mushrooms.

On top of the mushrooms, nestle as many pork chops as you can fit without overlapping.

Top the chops with a hearty layer of sliced mushrooms, cover with foil and bake at 350 until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the pork chops are done. I want to say about an hour, maybe? It's going to depend a great deal on the cooking time for the rice you choose. Let it sit, covered, for about 10 minutes and then eat up!

A few other notes:
1. A good Cream of Mushroom (read: not Campbell's) will make a big difference in the flavor.
2. I used about twelve good-sized crimini mushrooms last time I made it, but I have no idea what that translated to in pounds.
3. You can use button mushrooms, if you prefer, or mix crimini and button...whatever you like.
4. If you use a clear baking dish, it's easy to see if the rice has finished absorbing all the liquid without having to pull the pan out of the oven and lift the foil and all that...
5. This dish is made even more heavenly when it's served with steamed asparagus or sauteed spinach and a crusty bread of some sort.
6. The leftovers are deeeelicious.
7. Oh, yeah! You can use either bone-in or boneless pork chops. We've had tremendous success with both.
8. In place of the chicken stock, you can use beef stock or veggie stock. Water will work in a pinch, as well.

I think that's it.

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