Cooking is one of my passions but with anything I do often, sometimes I get into a rut.  My cooking has been in a rut of late and I’m not sure exactly why. It’s probably because Mother Nature is currently off her meds and Spring is teasing us to the point of distraction. So, I asked my wife for some suggestions about dinner.

Karen is a great cook as well and she pulled up a few recipes on line that caught my eye. Two of them were for pork chops. One was cooked with apples and served with garlic smashed potatoes and the other was for pork chops in a red wine reduction with garlic and lemony green beans.  As I didn’t have any apple cider for the first recipe, I went with the second.

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Luckily, I had all the necessary ingredients with two exceptions. The recipe called for whole garlic cloves and 1-inch thick bone in pork chops. All the garlic in the house was minced instead of in whole cloves, and I was using boneless chops about ¾ of an inch thick. So, I adjusted the recipe for my situation.

I was happily surprised with the flavor of the chops but they were a bit overcooked in my opinion.  I’m going to share the recipe as presented on Food Network with a few additional suggestions if you decide to try this one.  Next time I will cook down the sauce a bit after adding the broth and before adding back the chops to the skillet as I thought it was a bit runny.

Don’t forget the sides

No meal is complete without the side dishes. The recipe for the chops suggested a side of lemony green beans.  I love green beans but we have been eating them a lot lately and I wanted to jazz up the flavor a bit. The lemon and brown butter did the trick.  The beans were delicious and I will serve them again with or without the pork chops.

So today, you are going to get a twofer. I hope you will try these dishes. Live, Laugh, Love, and Eat Well.

Pork Chops with Wine and Garlic

Courtesy of Ree Drummond and Food Network

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Total time about 20 minutes

Serves 4

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bone-in T-Bone pork chops, 1-inch thick (I used boneless about ¾ inch thick)
  • 16 cloves garlic, peeled (I used about 4 TBSP of minced garlic)
  • 1 ½ cups red wine (I used burgundy)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup beef broth, plus more if needed
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Heat the oil and 2 TBSP butter in a heavy skillet over high heat (I used cast iron). Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops and sear them until nice and golden, about 2 minutes on each side. You will complete the cooking later. Remove the chops from the skillet and set aside.

Reduce the heat on the skillet to medium high, then throw in the whole garlic cloves. Stir them around and cook unit they get golden brown, a couple of minutes. (If using minced, the garlic will cook very quickly so keep an eye on it or it will burn). Pour in the red wine, then add the bay leaf. Stir it around and cook, increasing the heat if necessary, until the sauce is reduced and thick, several minutes.

Stir in the broth and add the chops back to the skillet, arranging them so they are swimming in the sauce and allow them to cook several minutes. (If using thinner chops, cook down the broth a bit before adding the chops or they may be over cooked and tough). Add the balsamic vinegar and shake the skillet to distribute., the cook a few more minutes or until the chops are done.

Remove the chops from the skillet once more, then let the sauce reduce a bit more if needed until it’s very thick and rich and the garlic is soft. Swirl in the remaining 1 TBSP of butter and season with salt and pepper.

Lemony Green Beans

Courtesy of Ree Drummond and Food Network

Total time about 15 minutes

Serves 4

  • 1 LB thin green beans
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • ¼ tsp of Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Snap off the ends of the green beans or use a knife to cut off the ends several at a time.

Heat a pan over a medium high heat and add the butter. (It helps to use a pan with a light-colored bottom so you can see the color change of the butter). Swirl the pan occasionally so the butter cooks evenly. As the butter cooks, it will change color from yellow to toasty brown and have a nutty aroma.

Add the green beans and sauté for 3 to 6 minutes so that the beans take on a little color and are tender. Add the lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, and transfer to a platter in batches with tongs.