Thursday, June 18, 2009

Herbed Crockpot Pork Chops and Cheesy Garlic Food Storage Potatoes

Featured Food Storage and Pantry: Cream of Onion Soup, home grown herbs, and Instant Potato Pearls

I have to admit pork chops in the crockpot is not my favorite way to prepare a chop. I do however think this recipe where the meat was falling off the bone had an interesting twist on the typical creamy crockpot pork chop recipe. And I had a busy day that made my slow cooker necessary. In the spirit of food storage I decided to try cheesy garlic mashed potatoes with instant just to see how it worked out. It definitely gave those instant potatoes a tasty kick. Of course they are not as good as the real spuds but they were pretty good for instant, which I use way more often than I should admit. I am a lazy mashed potato cooker.

Finally, I would like to encourage you to grow your own herbs. Fresh, or so called fresh herbs, in the store cost as much or more than buying the actual plant. I truly believe anyone, including the space challenged can find a corner on a patio, porch or in a window sill to grow their favorite fresh herbs. They continue to grow for many months and they do, dare I say it, add a little spice and flavor to your plain Jane pantry meals. I just barely used up the last of my frozen pesto from last year's basil crop. Oh, the possibilities are endless and the savings are worth it. This year I am growing sage, basil, thyme, tarragon, mint, oregano, chives, rosemary and parsley. You don't need a designated herb garden. I have them tucked everywhere; in my garden, my flower beds and my pots.

6 bone in pork chops
2 Tbs mixed herbs, chopped ( I used sage, rosemary and parsley).
2 garlic cloves minced
1 Tb butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 Can cream of onion soup
1/2 Cup of Apple juice (I actually used an apple/mango juice)

Melt butter in a saute pan. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Mix herbs and garlic and rub on pork chops. Brown pork chops in butter for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until barely browned. Place pork chops in the crockpot and add soup and apple juice. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
For 6 servings

Instant potato pearls cooked according to package directions and desired consistency.
5 Cloves of garlic finely minced
1 Tb chives, finely chopped
1 Cup cheddar cheese

Saute garlic cloves for 1 to 2 minutes in 1/2 Tb olive oil or until slightly softened. Stir or whip garlic, chives and cheddar cheese into hot mashed potatoes and serve. Make sure your garlic is finely minced or you will be getting garlic chunks. Of course, maybe you like chunky garlic bits.

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