If you’ve been following along, then you already know that the weekends have been a little wild up in here. And by up in here, I mean not up in here, because I haven’t been home on the weekend in what seems like forever. First, I went to Chicago and ran a marathon, then after being back in the office for 3 days, down the shore I went to be a bridesmaid in Maria’s Big Fat Greek Wedding. When I said that things have been a little wild lately, I really mean that they’ve been a complete and utter whirlwind. The kind of whirlwind that makes it look like an actual whirlwind had swept through my apartment (my bedroom particularly) which resulted in a half unpacked suitcase sitting open in the middle of my floor, a pile of folded clothes on my desk, a pile of clean but unfolded clothes on my reading chair, and a pile of I-think-those-are-probably-dirty-because-they’re-on-the-floor-clothes (you guessed it) on the floor.
I’m glad I got that off my chest.
As wonderful as those weekends away have been, I truly could not have be any more excited to just be home this past weekend. And have a leisurely weekend at home to boot. The kind of weekend that started with happy hour and ended with a friend’s baby shower. The kind of weekend that involved Saturday morning coffee and waffles and Saturday afternoon Apple Cider Sangria [side note: if you make one thing this fall, it should be this sangria. it will change your world. its not my recipe, this is just me spreading the awesomeness] Oh and since it was unofficial Halloween, it was also the kind of weekend that involved a long blonde wig and a Taylor Swift costume. [is anyone surprised?]
And by the way Mom, if you’re reading this, it was also the kind of weekend that involved me putting away all those clothes I mentioned above.
Perhaps best of all, it was the kind of weekend where, for the first time in ages, I spent more than 30 minutes making dinner.
For those of you who didn’t have a leisurely weekend and don’t have a leisurely week (or month) ahead of you though, I have the perfect 30 minute meal for you. Southwest Smothered Pork Chops. This is the kind of dinner that has kept me sane, and healthy, and not resorting to Subway every night over the past month. It’s a brown and bake and straight to your plate kind of dinner. A cast iron skillet will be your only dirty dish, so clean up won’t even be a pain. I like to make a big batch of homemade Cowboy Caviar and leave it in the fridge for an occasion just like this. The spicy zip of the corn salsa is the perfect way to dress up plain old pork chops. Speaking of plain old pork chops, these boneless guys have a sort of bad reputation for drying out which is why i swear by this brown and bake technique. Not only does is it crazy fast, it also keeps your pork chops super juicy, even when you reheat them for leftovers.
Serve with a baked potato, big green salad, or my personal favorite Chipotle Cheddar Mac N Cheese (recipe coming soon), and you’ll feel like nothing short of a kitchen champ, even in the midst of another crazy week!
**serves two, multiply recipe as you see fit
- 2 boneless pork chops, 1 inch thick
- 1 Tbs of olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cowboy caviar (or your favorite corn salsa)
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stove top until very hot.
While the oven and skillet are preheating, mix together the cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt in a small bowl. Drizzle the pork chops with olive oil and season both sides with the spice mixture. Place the pork chops on the hot cast iron and brown both sides for approximately three minutes. Top each pork chop with 1/4 cup of cowboy caviar and transfer the skillet to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the skillet and top each pork chop with 2 Tbs of shredded cheddar cheese and return to the oven for another 2 minutes. Remove the pork chops from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes in the cast iron before serving.
Original Recipe. Get the link to my cowboy caviar here.
For the 30 minute super stars, what what.