Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pork Casserole

Who doesn't love a casserole? It's hearty and comforting (just right for sitting in front of the TV on a winter's night); it's cleanup friendly (a one-dish meal); and you can make one with just about any conglomeration of foods from your fridge and cupboard.

Tonight, I had a few boneless pork chops sitting in the fridge, a couple leftover red potatoes (too few for mashed or roasting), and an assortment of veggies. Taking inspiration from a few online recipes, I thinly sliced the potatoes, pan-fried them briefly to help start the cooking process, then layered them in the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. I seasoned (garlic salt and pepper) and seared the chops on both sides, laid them on top of the potatoes, then topped them with sauteed onions and mushrooms and a scattering of chopped red bell pepper. I wanted to smother all of that with cream of mushroom but, not finding any in my cupboard, I used a creamy potato/bacon soup instead, thinned with a bit of milk. A couple of handfuls of shredded cheddar finished off the dish before it went into the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

The result? Moist, flavorful pork with a savory sauce, tender potatoes, and a delicious assortment of veggies with surprisingly still-crisp red peppers. The best part is: you can never make a one-serving casserole, which means lunch (and dinner?) tomorrow will be very tasty.

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