Mome reads Mommy, My daughter's way to spell it when she was younger... It stuck. My son calls me Mome... just like it looks. I now sign all my notes to them "Love, Mome". It's our inside secret and makes them smile. I always want them to smile.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Best Dinner in a LONG Time

I ventured off the beaten path yesterday. I was in the mood to cook and decided to try a recipe that none of us had tried before. It was a little adventurous for my non- flavor seeking boys (hubby and Son). It was kinda like putting Ferrari parts on the Camry. A little fancier, way risky, and probably NOT a good fit...but I was tired of the same 'ol choices. I wanted FLAVOR. Both boys are doing much better in trying new things and I just hoped that my timing was right.

I pulled out a cook book and found a recipe for Chipotle-Cinnamon Pork Cops with Pineapple relish. I then looked for a side dish and found Nutty Okra. Now. Everyone here eats pork chops and okra, so I figured I could pull it off.

The recipe claims "less than 15 minutes prep" per recipe. I'm betting Mr. Food never made dinner while doing homework and occupying a 3 year old. It took a little longer. I added to it some Uncle Ben's Long Grain Wild rice in Sundried Tomato Florentine flavor. Not sure if that's new or something I've been missing out was super yummy and complimented the chops and okra perfectly. At least Puddin Pop and I thought so. As dinner was almost finished I happened to get a small tasted of the rub on the chops and quickly whipped up some mac 'n cheese thinking the chops may be too spicy for the little folks.

I was very pleased with my meal. The kids tried the pork chops, one thought it was too spicy (it was pretty hot) and the other ate half of one. They loved the okra. They had the pineapple relish, mac n' cheese and one had rice. Hubster, who is affectionately called "bland boy" ate two pork chops, tried the rice, loved the okra and the pineapple (which really helped "cool" the pork chops.

It turned out to be a nice family dinner. We ate (mostly) the same thing. We tried something new...together. I got to cook. I got the flavorful food I've been missing at most of our family meals.

Chipotle-Cinnamon Pork Chops w/ Pineapple/mint relish

1 tsp chipotle chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbls plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
4 (1" thick)boneless center-cut pork chops
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pineapple
2 tbsp fresh chopped mint
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1) Combine chile powder, cinnamon, salt and 2 tsp oil. Stir to make a paste. Rub paste over pork chops. Let stand while making relish.

2) Combine pineapple and remaining ingredients. Toss well and set aside.

3) Heat remaining 1 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chops and cook 7-8 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with relish
4 servings

Nutty Okra

1 cup biscuit baking mix
1/2 cup finely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (16 0z) package frozen cut okra. thawed

1) Stir together biscuit mix, chopped peanuts, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add okra, tossing to coat. Gently press peanut mixture into okra.

2) Pour oil into pan (2" deep) and heat to 375 (medium heat). Fry okra in batches, 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
4 servings

*Recipes from The Best of Mr. Food, 15-Minute Recipes

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