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Volume 14

Dinner This Week: Smothered Pork Chops

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Smothered Pork Chops, Greek-Style Lamb Pita Sandwiches, and Baked Sole Fillets for dinner in an hour or less.

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

Dinner 1: Smothered Pork Chops and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Our Smothered Pork Chops start with juicy and flavorful bone-in, rib-end pork chops. We first sear the chops in bacon fat, then slowly braise them in a sweet, salty, smoky onion gravy. To prevent our Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes from developing a curdled appearance, we add melted butter to room-temperature buttermilk: This coats the proteins in the buttermilk and thus protects them from heat shock when they hit the hot potatoes. Because buttermilk contains very little fat, we add a couple of tablespoons of butter to the potatoes so they don't taste too lean.

Printable Shopping Lists: Smothered Pork Chops and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Equipment Review Food Processors

How much do you need to spend to get a machine that makes light work of chopping, slicing, shredding, and mixing?

Dinner 2: Greek-Style Lamb Pita Sandwiches and Chopped Carrot Salad

For Greek-Style Lamb Pita Sandwiches with the same flavors and textures as restaurant gyros, we pan-fry ground lamb patties seasoned with oregano, onion, and minced garlic. To ensure that the patties are juicy, we add a panade (a paste of fresh bread crumbs and milk), substituting pita crumbs for the traditional bread crumbs. Chopped Carrot Salad with Mint, Pistachios, and Pomegranate Seeds starts by finely chopping carrots in the food processor instead of grating them by hand. This procduces a delicately crunchy, light-textured base in just seconds. We save even more time by not peeling the carrots; scrubbing them is sufficient, and the skins contribute a subtle but pleasant bitterness. Plenty of fresh mint, pomegranate seeds, and toasted pistachios brighten things up and a lively dressing brings the salad together.

Printable Shopping Lists: Greek-Style Lamb Pita Sandwiches and Chopped Carrot Salad

Dinner 3: Baked Sole Fillets and Green Beans Amandine

For our Baked Sole Fillets with Herbs and Bread Crumbs, we roll the fillets into compact bundles so they cook evenly. To enliven the fish’s mild flavor, we add Dijon mustard and a variety of fresh herbs. A simple topping of toasted bread crumbs contributes texture and richness. Green Beans Amandine starts with a sauce containing plenty of toasted almonds, nutty browned butter, and a splash of lemon juice. We steam the green beans in a little water in a covered skillet until they are crisp-tender, then add the sauce right before serving to preserve the texture of the green beans and almonds.

Printable Shopping ListsBaked Sole Fillets and Green Beans Amandine


To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.