Well, today I felt the need to fill up a pan with oil and go to town.
I defrosted some pork tenderloin, shucked corn and shelled butter beans from a few weeks ago, opened up a bag of Blue Ribbon long-grain rice and made a quick dinner.
And the tenderloin will be my breakfast tomorrow, too. I'll cook up some grits, fry or scramble up an egg, add a half-slice of muenster cheese, salt and pepper. And if I feel like it...some biscuits. If not, then a piece of whole wheat toast will do. Oh, and the gravy will be spooned on top of everything. Yes, sir. That'll do ju-ust fine.
Pan Fried Pork Chops
6 boneless pork chops
1/2 Tbsp Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt, for sprinkling
Hot sauce (recommended: Texas Pete's or Frank's)
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Canola or safflower oil
Sprinkle the chops lightly with salt and pepper. Shake hot sauce on each chop. Season flour with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Dredge in the flour, shaking off excess. In a large, heavy skillet, heat oil to a depth of 1/8 inch over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers without smoking, it's ready. Alternatively, sprinkle a bit of flour in the pan. If it sizzles, it's ready. Put the chops in the pan, as many as will fit without crowding, and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes each side. Drain on cooling rack, paper towels, or brown paper bags. To keep chops warm, place in a preheated 250 degrees F oven.
You're supposed to use the leftover oil in the pan to start the gravy, but I saved this oil (after straining it through a coffee filter to get out all of the black bits and crust) to use another time.
Mustard Sage Gravy
1/4 cup canola oil
1 onion, fine dice or minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock/broth or water
1 Tbsp dijon mustard or 1/2 Tbsp dried mustard
2 Tbsp rubbed sage
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil on medium-high heat, just until hot. Add onions and cook until just past translucent. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the oil, stirring the bottom with a high-heat spatula or wooden spoon to prevent lumps. Stir for a few minutes as the flour cooks, and browns. Adjust heat, if necessary. If the flour burns, you will have to start all over. Add chicken stock, mustard, sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in all ingredients and cook for a few minutes. Scrape the pan again, to lift the bits (called FOND) that might be stuck to the bottom. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Gravy is basically a roux (ROO) made of 50% fat and 50% flour cooked with a liquid and seasonings until the flour reaches its maximum thickening capacity. The fat of the roux can be oil, butter, lard, etc. The longer flour cooks, the less thickening power it has. As soon as the flour becomes the nice golden or marroon color of your choice, that is the time to add the liquid. As far as liquids are concerned, the more flavor the better, so I always use stock. If I'm at another locale ( i.e. not at home), water will do.
Boy! I love my life and all the food in it.
Yeah, that's me and Nicole. They caught me with that stupid grin on my face, again.
Clearly, Nicole is not amused.