I found an interesting book entitled “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch” by Jennifer Reese. It’s very charming, funny and witty. It is like reading exactly what goes on inside my head… which is kind of scary and comforting at the same time. I also enjoy the fact that she goes through each recipe and tells it like it is. She comes often to the same conclusions I have about baking your own biscuits from scratch (yes, please for the love of everything please do!), if making your own yogurt is worth the cost, and if you can really make your own mascarpone cheese. Here is an excerpt and example of what I mean:
“Owen needs cupcakes for school and look, here they are, ready to go, packed in clamshells. Nutritionally irredeemable — but made. Sixteen dollars for twenty-four supermarket trans-fat packed cupcakes? Good grief. I’ll bake. That means I need eggs and the eggs here sure are cheap. But I can’t buy them here because these eggs are laid by debeaked chickens living in cages the size of Tic Tac boxes. If only I’d gone to the farmers’ market on Sunday and bought eggs there…But how do I know that guy treats his chickens well just because the eggs are blue? And honestly, do I even really care about chickens. I can’t believe I’m spending three dollars per pound for these crunchy tomaoes. I shoould grow them, just like Barbara Kingsolver. How does she find the time to make her own cheese and breed her own heritage turkeys and write books? I need to work harder, sleep less, never watch TV again. Wait, there’s high fructose corn syrup in Campbell’s vegetable soup? Isn’t that supposed to be a deal breaker?”
Source: page 2 of “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter” by Jennifer Reese
This recipe was published in Food Network Magazine last month. The reviews also give it 5 stars. Yippee!
The recipe was fast and easy to make. I really did complete it well under 30 minutes. It was something fun and different. We don’t have grits very often and not sure why… they were quite tasty. I’m sure the restaurants add more cheese. The kids were not given the onions on top (which is fine – more for me!) and ate the pork right up, although they did not care for grits…. or my side of kale and apples which is another recipe post 🙂
Photo of making the gravy. Because everything tastes good with gravy!
- 2 tsps. olive, grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 4 - 3/4" thick boneless pork chops (about 1.5 lbs is about right)
- salt and pepper
- 1 large red onion or 2 small/medium red onions, sliced thin
- 1 T. flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup quick cooking grits
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- fresh or dried parsley (optional, but keeps the dish from looking bland)
- On stovetop, heat a nonstick pan over medium to medium-high heat with the oil. My 13" pan was plenty big.
- Salt and pepper the pork chops. Cook on one side until browned - about 3-4 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Now, add the onions and cook 3 minutes or so. They should be a little brown.
- Bring down the heat to medium-low and add flour. Stir 2 minutes.
- Add broth and bay leaf. Cook 3 minutes or slightly thickened.
- Add back the pork chops and cook them through (145 degrees).
- While the pork is cooking, in a medium or large pot boil 2 and 1/4 cups water. Add grits, 1/2 tsp. salt. Heat for 5 minutes. Stir once in a while and they should become thicker. Now, stir in the cheese. Reduce heat and keep warm until serving.
- Plate grits. Then the pork and top everything with the onions and gravy. Toss a little parsley on top so the pork and grits don't look so sad.