This month marks my six-year anniversary of food blogging. My mind reels when I think of how much of myself is embedded in this website, in its 400+ recipes.
To be honest, running this site has its ups and downs. Sometimes there’s no better feeling than the flurry that comes with creating a new recipe–the smells and tastes during development, the colors that enliven my photography sessions, the relief that comes from editing terrible first drafts. But there are other sessions where I walk away disheartened, feeling like I’m simply treading water; stuck in the space between better moments.
It’s times like these that I typically revert to old dishes, to prove to myself that I’m making progress in pursuit of that perfect recipe post. Case in point is this week’s recipe for Smothered Pork Chops, a revision of my initial recipe, from over five years ago. The old post horrifies me, especially that first picture – it doesn’t even look like food! But at the same time, a part of me treasures its presence, as a testament to progress.
So, cheers to six years of tasty food. I can’t wait to see how my recipes look in another six. Thanks for sticking around!
Smothered Pork Chops (Gluten-free, Perfect Health Diet)
6 oz bacon, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp all-purpose gluten-free flour (or 2 tbsp rice flour + 1 tbsp tapioca starch or potato starch)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
2 dashes garlic powder
1 pinch dried thyme
4 thick pork chops, bone-in preferred
2 tbsp butter
~2 cups chicken broth, divided
8oz mushrooms, sliced
1. Warm a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy and its fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. As the bacon cooks, combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and thyme into a wide, shallow bowl (something big enough to fit a pork chop). Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon; you should have about 2-3 tbsp of rendered fat in the skillet (if not, add some lard, ghee, or coconut oil).
2. Increase the skillet heat to medium-high. Pat each pork chop dry with some paper towels, then dust each chop with the flour mixture and add to the skillet. Retain any leftover flour (should be about 2 tbsp, if not, add some more flour to the mixture). Brown the pork chops until crispy and deep brown in color, about 6 minutes per side, flipping once – adjust the heat if the chops start to burn. Using tongs, remove the pork chops and set aside.
3. Add the butter to the skillet; once melted, add the retained flour mixture. Stir to combine and toast until golden brown, stirring constantly, to create a roux. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth to the roux, then bring to a simmer and allow to thicken. From there, add more broth to get the desired texture of gravy; wait for the gravy to thicken each time before adding more broth, because once you add too much broth, you can’t take it back.
4. Once the gravy is at the right texture, taste and add salt if needed. Stir in the mushrooms and return the pork chops to the skillet; spoon some gravy over the chops, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently until the pork chops are tender, about 20 minutes. This is an excellent time to whip up some mashed potatoes or steam some sweet peas.
5. Plate each chop then stir the bacon pieces into the gravy; spoon the gravy over the chops, then serve with mashed potatoes and peas.