From The Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center – C4
An Old-Fashioned Country Meal
Look, let’s face it, most of us are trying to eat clean, exercise more and simply live a healthy life. A lot of us have changed our eating habits and moved away from down-home southern cooking…right? We no longer fry in oil, no longer add butter to our veggies, and we never, ever eat anything white…right again? That is until you are craving and give into an old-fashioned country meal.
I have southern roots and sometimes those roots tug at my heart and whisper in my ear. And when they do, I must answer the call. So, this weekend, I completely fell off the clean eating wagon and made a down home country dinner. So out of my guilt and because, if I am honest (and I usually am), I enjoyed it because, if I must say so myself, it was finger-licking good.
- Fried Pork Chops
- White Rice
- Homemade Gravy
- Garden Peas
- Roasted Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, mushrooms, green bell papers, snow peas)
- Cinnabon Style Cinnamon Rolls
Seasonings (nothing extravagant when you go country)
- Season Salt
- Course Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- White Flour
- Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
Let’s Get Cooking
- Pork Chops Step 1 – Season the pork chops using season salt, coarse black pepper, and garlic powder – set aside
- Roasted Vegetables – Season roasted vegetables using season salt, coarse black pepper, and garlic powder. Coat the vegetables with olive oil. Preheat oven to 300 and once oven timer advises the temperature is reached place the pan in the oven and roast for 20 mins. (I did add one healthy item to the menu – I am conditioned I guess.
- Peas – I used frozen. Place peas in a saucepan with season salt, black pepper and two teaspoons of butter. Cover pan and turn the eye of the stove to low.
- Rice – Add two cups of water in a saucepan. Add season salt and two teaspoons of butter to the butter and bring to a boil. Add one cup of white rice, stir, turn the rice pot down to a simmer and cover with the lid. Allow to simmer until water boils out and the rice is tender. Southern tip – once the rice is cooked and you turn off the heat, add a pat or two or three of butter to the top. Remember we are off the wagon this weekend.
- Gravy – In another saucepan, add two table spoons of white flour. Turn stove eye on medium. Stir flour constantly until brown. Once brown, add 3 cups of cold water, two tablespoons of butter and half of a sliced onion. Salt and pepper to taste, cover and allow to simmer.
- Cinnabon Style Cinnamon Buns – I bought these pre-made. Add the dough to cookie sheet. Add pecans to the rolled dough. I like to place mine between the fold and on top. Add cinnamon packet and set aside. By this time vegetables are ready to be removed from the oven and covered with aluminum foil. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place cinnamon buns on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the cinnamon gel has melted. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and add icing. Optional – garnish crushed pecans.
- Pork Chops Step 2 – Add two cups of canola oil to a deep skillet or large Dutch oven and turn the stove top to medium (deep pan to avoid the mess made when grease pops all over your stove top). The number of chops determines the amount of flour you will need. I added two cups of flour to a ziplock bag and tossed two chops at a time in the flour and I prepared four chops. Once canola oil is hot (southern tip-you can tell by adding a drop of water to the oil. If it bubbles, it is ready for your chops). Allow your chops to fry until golden brown or until they pop to the very top. Remove and place on a plate lined with paper towel. Southern tip – the paper towel will soak up any excess oil. You can place the chops on a beautiful serving dish once they have drained for a minute or two.
…And that was my off the wagon, southern, down-home, self-indulgent dinner. Hey if you are going to splurge, you may as well really go all the way, right? I don’t fry very often anymore but this dinner was comforting if you will and we both indulged and enjoyed.
Note: I did not mention it, but I also added crescent rolls to the menu at the very last minute. We debated the rolls for several minutes before we gave in.
What about you? With all the healthy living we are all invested in at this point, do you ever just give in and eat a full lasagna with ground beef instead of ground turkey and without cheese substitutes? Do you ever add butter to the table anymore? Do you sometimes just give in a fry something on occasion? Don’t get me wrong, I am loving trying all the healthy recipes and they are really tasty. But sometimes my southern roots beckon.
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