Monday, April 20, 2015

Gun Shows, Purses, Chickens & Cheese

Less than a month ago, we bought a new car.  My SUV was 13 years old and slowly dying.  The radio display went out first.  Then the power steering went out.  Then one of the passenger windows wouldn't stay up.  Then the driver window wouldn't go up.  When the air conditioner went out, that was pretty much the last straw.  So we bought a car.  I was surprised that I went to an actual car instead of an SUV since I've driven SUVs so long.  But we are really enjoying the car and have been taking some day trips on the weekends in it.  We are having a blast.  Now that the kids are teenagers, it's almost that time when it's just the two of us doing what we want.

Yesterday we took a road trip out of town to go to a gun show.  My husband's father is a collector of historical guns, and my husband is a mild enthusiast.  But it was something to do, and we had a nice day.  You would really be surprised at what you can find at a gun show.  I bought a purse and a wallet.  Can you believe they have those things at a gun show?  I also bought a metal chicken to go with my metal flying pig.  

I know, we are a bit quirky.  Another thing we bought was a block of smoked Gruyere cheese.  Yes, at a gun show!  It came from a small and local Texas cheese and sausage maker.  It's delicious too.  All in all, we had a fun road trip, even though I got a little carried away.

Anywho, when we got home, I made a delicious spin on a classic Chicken Parmesan dish.  I had some pork chops in the freezer, so I thought, why not.  The breading on the pork chops is so yummy that you could eat them as is without the sauce.  But then I couldn't call it Pork Chop Parmesan.  It would just be pork chops.  The sauce is a quick marinara but it tastes like it cooked all day.  They were mighty tasty and they disappeared quickly.  I hope you enjoy them too!

4 pork chops (I used bone in, but boneless will work too)
1 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/4 C grated Parmesan (the powder stuff)
2 eggs
2 T butter
Olive oil
4 Mozzarella cheese slices
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese

One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C red wine
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 T chopped Italian parsley
Red chili flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 C finely chopped onion
Olive oil

1 lb spaghetti noodles
3 T butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1 T chopped Italian parsley

For the sauce, drizzle some olive oil into a pot and cook the onion until tender.  Put all of the remaining sauce ingredients into the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and let it simmer about 15 minutes.  Cook the spaghetti noodles according to package directions.

For the pork chops, mix the panko, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, pepper, Parmesan, and dried parsley together in a bowl big enough to dip the pork chops in. Whisk the eggs and a splash of water together in another bowl. Melt the 2 T butter in a large skillet and drizzle in some olive oil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Dip the pork chops into the egg wash and then into the panko mixture, pressing down to coat.  Cook the chops in the butter and olive oil mixture for about 4-5 minutes per side or until well browned. Drain the chops on a paper towel.  

Put the chops in a 9 x 13 pan.  Spread some of the sauce over each chop.  Lay one piece of Mozzarella over each chop.  Sprinkle the 1/4 C Parmesan cheese over each chop. Put the pan in the oven and bake the chops about 15 minutes or until the chops are done through.

Meanwhile, drain the spaghetti and return it to the same hot pot.  Stir in the garlic, Parmesan, butter, and parsley.  Serve the chops over the spaghetti.

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