Simple Sunday Fare

Hey everyone,

Yes, I’ve been so MIA even I missed me, lol.

Feeling as if my life is one distraction after another these days. Falling into that unproductive rut has been such a downer, I’m currently in near-total avoidance mode. That’s got me MORE bummed so now I’m kicking my own butt out of the hole (no easy feat to move this much mass, I promise). The French Open Tennis Championships, kids, their friends, gardening, the house–none of it is any help re: getting me on track.

The first zucchini blossoms–so early this year–and tonight’s dinner delicacy. (Recipe at my website–dee-lish! Just make sure to scroll down the page a little. :))

See how DBD (Distracted by Dust) I am? Anywho, This 30-40-minute recipe/meal was due to post on my blog two Fridays ago, as promised to my online friend and cooking aficionado, Stephanie. (Check out her blog and some of her awesome recipes: comfort food from scratch, and many dishes/desserts from typical household ingredients—my favorite kind.)

Once Stephanie took added a part-time job (cooking, of course) to everything else I’m sure she does, she asked for quick, from-scratch meals that could be made in a 30-40-minute time frame. Here’s the one I offered. Hopefully, some others found their way to her sooner! (Sorry, no photo of this one.)

Pork Chops with Zucchini, Onions and Rice (serves 3-4)

For the rice: white or brown rice (1 cup)

2-2/3 cups water

salt/pepper/Adobo to taste

butter or olive oil (optional)

In a small saucepan you can cover tightly with a lid, bring water and seasoning(s) to a boil. Keep flame on high and add rice. Stir continuously for one minute then lower heat completely. Cover and let rice steam until done (about 23 minutes). When finished, keep rice covered for at least five minutes to allow all the water to be absorbed. Fluff with fork then cover and set aside. (Please note: brown rice will take about 40 minutes to cook.)

For the zucchini and onion:

2-3 zucchini (about8 incheslong and 2-3 inchesthick) cut into 1-inch pieces

1 med or large onion, chopped

canola or olive oil

salt/pepper/Adobo to taste

Over medium flame, heat a large frying pan and add enough olive (or canola) oil to just cover the bottom of the pan. When hot, sauté the veggies to desired doneness. (You can also coat with cooking spray and roast in a 400˚F for about 20 minutes. This cuts back on oil—and calories—and brings a unique sweetness out of the vegetables. Stir at least twice while veggies are in the oven.) Set aside.

Meat: (At least 4) boneless pork chops (boneless chicken breast or top sirloin make nice substitutes here, but you may want to marinate them in Italian salad dressing or Worcestershire sauce and olive oil, respectively)

salt/pepper/Adobo to taste

oregano

fresh parsley

small clove of garlic, finely chopped

olive oil (1-2 tbsp, or to taste)

Flatten 4 boneless pork chops to desired thickness. Season with salt/pepper/adobo to taste. Spray a cast iron (or heavy aluminum frying) pan with cooking oil and heat over medium to high flame until a drop of water dances then evaporates. (Pan should be hot enough to sear the pork chop when it makes contact with the pan.) Place pork chops on pan and cook about five minutes before turning over. Cover and cook another 5-10 minutes, until cooked through. Transfer to plate on which you’ve already mixed together oregano, parsley, garlic and olive oil. If you like, add juices from the meat to the plate too. Turn meat to coat.

That’s it! Serve immediately with veggies and rice. (Hint: If you’re using rice you made the day before, stirring together the rice and veggies in a frying pan coated with olive oil for a quick stir-fry. Yum!

Some easy substitutes for your sides: peas with onions and bread crumbs (see this post for how to on the peas) and a microwave-baked potato. (Yes, I much prefer oven-baked but at 7-10 minutes as compared to 6o in a conventional oven, the former speed-cooking method wins). Another thought: making the rice, chopping the veggies and pounding those pork chops the day before will cut your cooking time that much more! Finally, having your favorite crusty bread frozen (wrapped in foil and ready to pop in a 400-degree oven (Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes saves a trip to the bakery too).

Thanks so much, everyone. I appreciate your indulgence and hope you’ll try this very simple meal. Let me know how you made out. Any variations on the theme? Housing some awesome recipes at your blog? Share links in the comments!

And while we’re talking about sharing, please help this girl get ’round the web just a little faster by clicking one of the SHARE buttons below. (Assuming you liked this post and deemed it worthy of being thrust beyond my tiny corner of cyberspace!)

Have a great day! Go Rafa!

Joanna

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7 thoughts on “Simple Sunday Fare

  1. Sounds yummy. My boys always turn their nose up at zucchini, but yet when I make a soup or sauce with chopped-up zucchinis, they gobble it down. Guess it’s all in the eye. 🙂

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  2. And in the mind; a bit of ignorance packs a huge nutritive value, lol. My hubby had to be shamed into trying zucchini pie, which he loves to this day. The day someone gave me a piece to try, I got my then 5 y/o stepson to taste–and he liked it.

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  3. I didn’t know you could eat zucchini blossoms! Ours seem to come in and then wilt pretty fast, not really ready all at the same time. Any suggestions on harvesting them? Can they be dried while waiting for their brethren?

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    1. Zucchini, pumpkin and other squash blossoms can be refrigerated, but need to be picked in the early AM, when the blossom is open. Grasp from the base and pull, or simply break off at the stem. Please note: don’t pick those attached to a zucch. Those are usually closer to the bottom of the plant–you’ll see the tiny zucch–and the inside of the flower has multiple stamen(s) in it. This shows the plant was fertilized. Blossoms on longer stems are rarely fertilized.

      Once inside, remove the middle of the flower. Place in an airtight container but don’t crowd them. You can refrigerate for quite a while. I’ll add more detail later–off to the day job right now.

      Thanks for asking!

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      1. Two more notes on storing zucch/pumpkin blossoms: since we tend to have an abundance, I usually put them in a large Tupperware mixing bowl. I also make sure the same blossoms aren’t sitting at the bottom for too long or they’ll rot. My mom freezes them–I’m not big on the practice but it can work.

        Hope this helped!

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