This was the perfect pre-birthday meal, even if I do say so myself. I totally improvised this recipe, because in my head, it sounded so good…and it was DE-licious. The recipe is not at all precise. If you know how much you like of seasonings, then you can adjust the amounts and should be fine:
How I did it
Heat the oven to 375 degrees
For the chops:
2 Thick-cut, butterflied pork loin chops
2 Tbs (or so) of flour, mixed with 1-ish Tbs each of salt and garlic powder, a few generous cracks of black pepper, and all that I had left of sweet smoked paprika (so about 1/2 tsp). I seasoned the flour well so the pork chops would be seasoned well.
I dusted both sides of the pork with the seasoned flour, shook off any excess flour, then browned the chops in a wide heated skillet with a few tablespoons of oil. Make sure your skillet has a lid. When both sides of the chops were nicely golden, I set the chops back on the plate and put them aside.
For the gravy:
To the hot skillet, still with some crusties from the chops, I added some andouille sausage. Mexican chorizo might work, but NOT Italian or any of that Jimmy Dean business. I realized the heat on the stove was getting away from me at this point, so… be careful (I accidentally managed a “poetic caramelization” on the sausage). After the andouille had browned, I added to the pan:
half a medium yellow onion, chopped
half of each a green and red bell pepper, chopped
four chopped green onions
one stalk celery, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
Saute together until the veggies soften and the onions are translucent, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the tasty bits from the sausage and pork. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Then, sprinkle about 3 Tbs of flour on the mixture, stirring to cook the flour taste out. I then stirred in about 2-3 cups of chicken broth (or, actually, one and a half 14.5 oz cans of store-bought chicken stock). When the mixture began to thicken slightly, I slid the chops back in, covered them with the gravy, put the lid on, and popped the pan in the oven until the chops are done (maybe 15 minutes). You can use a thermometer or the “touch” test, but I got it just about perfect (not to brag or anything). I recommend letting the chops rest, nestled in the gravy, for about 10 minutes after taking them out of the oven before serving.
Seriously, it was SO good. We ate it over rice with a side of fried okra. As for rice, we recommend Zatarain’s because it never sticks. Any time we can actually find a bag of Zatarain’s in the store (usually Target), I grab two. It’s so much tastier than other brands. I wouldn’t recommend it for sweet dishes, though, like rice pudding, because it has a floral taste to it that makes it distinctive.
Enjoy! Can’t wait to eat out tomorrow night for my birthday.