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A supper-time star

August 23, 2011

There are recipes you learn before you get married and there are recipes you learn to delight the spouse.
This is one of those recipes.
Anthelme Brillat Savarin from The Physiology of Taste 1825 said “The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity, than the discovery of a new star.”
My mother-in-law has made this dish for years and it is one of the husband’s favorites. Once again, her version of this dish requires baking in the oven for quite a while.
With my crazy schedule, I do not cook things very often that require a lot of oven time. If it can’t be prepared in 30 minutes or less, it is not on the supper menu plan.
As much as the husband loves it, I decided to create my own “30 minutes or less” version one night to surprise him.
Pork Chop Casserole
4 boneless, skinless breakfast pork chops, pan-fried in butter or olive oil (my mother-in-law uses regular bone-in pork chops)
2 cups minute rice, prepared according to directions
2 cups of cream of chicken condensed soup
I cook the minute rice according to directions and after it is boiling, I cover and put it aside. I melt butter or heat up olive oil in a cast iron skillet and pan-fry the pork chops. After flipping the chops, I cut them into bite-size pieces to ensure thorough cooking. When the meat is cooked, I combine the two cans of cream of chicken in the pan with the minute rice that is fully cooked, with salt and pepper to taste.
In my mother-in-law’s version, she uses uncooked long-grain rice with water, mixed with the condensed cream of chicken soup. The mixture sits on top of fully pan-fried bone-in pork chops. The casserole is cooked for 30 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked at 350 degrees.
The husband loves the science channel and we spend a lot of time learning about black holes, the rings on Saturn and Jupiter’s moons. He says it is “educational,” but he will agree that learning to fix one of his favorite dishes is “astronomical.”

Gwen Sisson is the Lifestyles Editor for Starkville Daily News. Contact her at sdnlife@bellsouth.net.

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