Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pork, Rolls, & Salad

We tried 2 new recipes on Sunday for dinner:

1. Pork Chops with Mushrooms & Thyme
2. Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

They are new as in 'we made them for the first time ever', not new as in 'just found the recipes.' The pork chops recipe is one I cut out of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in December 2005. The dinner rolls recipe is from the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook.

Around 4 pm on Sunday, we opened a bottle of Coppola Malbec, put on the football game, and started the dinner rolls. These dinner rolls involve yeast, which means you need to factor in time for the bread mixture to rise. Heat the milk, butter, sugar, salt, and seasoning (we used oregano) until warm:
add the warm mixture plus the eggs to a mixture of 2 cups flour & 1 package yeast:and mix together. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured board and knead in enough of the remaining flour for a moderately stiff dough that is smooth & elastic: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover the dough, and let it rise in a warm place. Our oven has a 'bread proofing' setting, so SP turned the oven on to the bread proofing setting and placed the bowl in the oven for an hour. The 'bread proofing' temperature is 85 degrees. Here's the dough going into the oven: While we waited, we sipped the Malbec and snacked on leftover gruyere & brie, crackers, and chips & salsa. The cheeses:Here's the 'risen' dough:You need to punch it down, divide in half, cover each half, and let the dough rest for ten minutes. Then it's time to shape the dinner rolls.

We decided on a cloverleaf shape. Fortunately, we have 2 muffin tins since this recipe makes 2 dozen cloverleaf rolls. We greased each tin and we each took half the dough and rolled 36 mini balls. We placed 3 mini balls in each muffin cup. The muffin tins were again covered and placed in the oven for about a half an hour. After the half hour, they bake for 12-15 minutes at 375. Baking rolls smell so yummy!These turned out pretty good for our first attempt at homemade dinner rolls. Some rolls are larger than others owing to a difference in 'small ball' size. They have a very nice flavor although perhaps next time we would add more oregano or maybe opt for Italian seasoning.

The pork chops are very easy to make. I don't like cooking meats by frying them in frying pans. Whenever I try to cook chicken or pork chops in a frying pan, I end up shriveling the meat into tiny, tough, flavorless blobs. I prefer to cook chicken breasts and pork chops in the oven and make the accompanying sauce in the pan. So we browned the chops in olive oil in a pan and then baked them in the oven and made the sauce separately. We did not pound them to 1/4" thick. Ours were about 1/2" thick.We doubled the recipe so that we would have lots of leftovers. First, saute some shallots in butter. Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to soften/brown. Add the vermouth and cook for a bit. Add the mustard and thyme and cook until thickened and reduced a bit. Eat & enjoy!

I love cooked mushrooms. The mushrooms with thyme, Dijon mustard, and vermouth were very tasty. This is definitely a 'will make again' meal.We also made a salad for with the pork chops and dinner rolls. It was spinach, tomato, cucumber, red pepper, and a bit of leftover Asiago cheese (from last week's casserole). We 'cheated' and used bottled dressing; SP used a sesame-ginger dressing and I used ranch dressing.A delicious Sunday meal!


4 5-ounce boneless, center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed and pounded to 1/4 inch thick (pound between sheets of plastic wrap with flat side of meat mallet or bottom of heavy saucepan)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, minced
3 cups sliced mushrooms (about 4 ounces)
1 cup dry vermouth
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add the pork chops and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to 2 serving plates; tent with foil to keep warm. Swirl oil into the pan, add shallots and cook, stirring, until soft, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Add vermouth and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in mustard, thyme and any juices that have accumulated from the pork; cook until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, 1 to 2 minutes more. Spoon sauce over pork chops and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

"Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook"


  1. That looks fantastic! The rolls look so professional! Good job!

  2. Those rolls look perfect! You guys have some impressive bakery chops! (No pun intended, but considering the pork chops... yeah.) :)

  3. Thanks for the compliments! I hadn't baked from-scratch rolls in years, but YumYum helped and they came out really, well, yummy!