It still makes sense to me to make the weekly menu though because I know what to take out of the freezer, what to pick up in the grocery store and have some idea in my head of "what's for dinner tonight", even if it was meant for dinner on another night or is a similar dish using the ingredients that I have on hand.
So yesterday we were supposed to have Spinach Pie for Meatless Monday but I had forgotten that I had a Parish Council Meeting and I also thought I had filo dough in the freezer but I didn't and I didn't have time to run out or to make any. What I did have was some pizza dough so I pulled that out and then when I got home from the meeting it only took moments to throw together a spinach pizza and put it in the oven.
Today, we were supposed to have stuffed Merillton Squash but I needed to get to the International Marketplace to get the squash and I ended up having company this afternoon so we had Thursday's dinner tonight. Except that I didn't have green beans so we had glazed carrots. The recipe I used for tonight's dinner, Unstuffed Pork Chops, came from Emeril's New, New Orleans Cooking, Cookbook. I got this cookbook as a Christmas present many years ago.
I guess it would be more appropriate to say that I got the idea for a recipe from this cookbook because, as is often the case, I took a lot of liberty and little guidance from the recipe as it was written.
I did, kind of, use Emeril's recipe for the Apple and Pecan stuffing. I used a half loaf of beer bread that I had left from last week, McIntosh apples instead of Gala, omitted the sage, used Gourmet Garden Parsley, Healthy Solutions seasoning instead of Emeril's Cajun Seasoning and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Yeah, I guess I pretty much remade the recipe but it turned out very delicious so I am sticking with my belief that recipes are nothing more than suggestions.
This is the third recipe I have made using Healthy Solutions Pork and Poultry rub. I was given a packet of this seasoning mix to use in a recipe challenge that I entered. I first made Spare Ribs with Cabbage but did not submit it to the company as my entry. It was very tasty but not very beautiful. The second recipe and the one I submitted was Healthy Solutions City Chicken.. All of this to say that while I knew that I would not be submitting this recipe in the contest, I still chose to use the seasoning packet because it is wonderful with pork. I never did try it with chicken (yet) but I am sure it would be just as wonderful. You should feel free to use any seasonings that you have on hand and that you and your family or guests like.
I am happy to share with you this recipe that I adapted from Emeril's. It was easy to prepare, pretty to look at and scrumptious to eat.....a perfect dish.
Unstuffed Pork Chops with Apple and Pecan Stuffing
adapted from Emiril's New, New Orleans Cooking
3 strips lean bacon, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 lge or 2 small apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 c. pecan pieces
3 T. Parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
4 c. day old bread crumbled or cubed
1 t. Healthy Solutions Seasoning Packet, Poultry and Pork Rub or your favorite seasonings
2 c. Vegetable or Chicken broth
4 bone in pork chops
4 t. Healthy Solutions Seasoning Packet, Poultry and Pork Rub, or your favorite seasonings
In a large saute pan cook bacon for a few minutes. Add onion, celery, apples, parsley, pecans, salt and pepper. Cook a few minutes longer until vegetables start to soften. Add the bread and broth. Stir to combine and allow bread to soak up liquid. Remove from heat.
Brush a small amount of olive oil on the bottom of a 9x13" baking pan. Spread the stuffing into the pan. Set aside.
Season the pork chops on both sides with the Seasoning packet or seasoning of your choice. Sear in hot oil over high heat until brown and golden on both sides. Place browned chops on top of stuffing and bake in a preheated 400* oven for 20 minutes, until chops are cooked through. Print Recipe