Do you remember when you first left home? Do you remember realizing that you had to cook for yourself? Do you remember getting your Mom to clue you in on how to make something other than instant noodles or microwaved scrambled eggs?
I actually worked in a restaurant so I had a least one or two meals covered five days a week, thank God. Like a typical teenager I was happy with cereal or toast or bowls of popcorn for dinner until I eventually figured out how to add microwaved bacon to my scrambled eggs. I thought I was a big shot when I dropped gobs of margarine into my cheap Teflon pan and fried up frozen perogies.
Eventually I asked my Mom for help. The first ‘real’ meal I got her to teach me was Pork Chops with Mushroom Sauce. Turns out it was just Pork Chops with a Can of Soup. Who knew?! After a lot of overcooked pork chops and a couple of pans scratched while whisking with a fork this recipe became one of my staples for years.
Eventually I started using olive oil instead of big scoops of margarine to cook the chops. Eventually I discovered varieties of mushrooms other than the standard white. Eventually I started to put my own spin on the sauce by adding garlic, onions, seasoning and fresh herbs. Eventually I bought a rubberized whisk and stopped scratching the shit out of my frying pan.
Eventually I decided to be a grown up and ditch the soup can.
Pan Seared Pork Loin Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 3 –4 boneless pork loin chops, approx 1 inch thick
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced (cremini, brown, white, or a combo of your faves)
- 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup dairy of choice (milk, cream, sour cream or plain yogurt)
- seasoning of choice (I like Montreal Steak Spice, but dried thyme, oregano, rosemary and/or lots of cracked pepper work nicely too)
- Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. When oil is hot add pork chops and cook until browning around the edges, flip and cook other side. Approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Remove pork chops from pan and cover loosely with foil.
- In the same pan heat remaining oil. Add onions, stir and cook one minute. Add garlic, stir. Add mushrooms, stir and season as desired. As mushrooms start to cook down add stock then reduce temp to just below medium. Let simmer 3-4 minutes until mushrooms soften and stock reduces by half. Stir in grainy mustard.
- Using a shallow ladle scoop half of the mixture into a food processor or blender. Puree until almost smooth then add back to the pan. Add dairy, stir until incorporated. Return pork chops to pan and continue to simmer on low heat until desired consistency is reached. (If using yogurt, simmer first then add at the end).
Seen here with steamed spinach and roasted beets because that is what I had on hand, but this makes a delicious cozy dinner if served over rice or mashed potatoes. Fluffy carbs are always the best device for absorbing gravy!
I’m not sure 19 year old me could have pulled this recipe off but I am fairly certain she’d approve. Eventually.