Friday, July 2, 2010

Foodie Friday: 10-minute-prep meal! Pork Chops and Couscous


Ok, cooking-wise it's longer than 10 minutes. In fact, it's actually about 30, heh. BUT the prep-time is really quick, I swear. Basically, I have a mental recipe book of food I can make in about 30 minutes with about a 10-minute prep time, so when I'm not feeling a frozen dinner or we want to avoid fast food, I can whip something up that's quick, easy, and satisfying.

So what's on the menu? Breaded baked pork chops and couscous. Easy, fast, and filling! This week, what with my back being strained again, and being sick of pizza and frozen meals, I wanted something "real food" for dinner, but since The Hubs claims inadequacy in the kitchen, that meant I had to make something that took very little time on my feet so my back wasn't screaming in pain the whole time. Then it dawned on me: One of my "quickie" meals, pork chops and couscous, takes about 10 minutes total of prep time! PERFECT. All I had to do was thaw the meat, then whip up a quick and tasty meal! (BTW, I thaw my meat in the sink with cold water. Takes longer, but I hate risking pre-cooking the meat using the defrost function in the microwave.) And as I suspected, my back barely made a whimper the whole time. Mission accomplished!

Now, keep in mind this is just enough to serve 2 people, as it's just The Hubs and I being fed. Double as needed.

The Chops
- 2 boneless pork chops, about 3/4" thick
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp thyme

The Cous
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup couscous
- 1 cube chicken bouillion (or 1 tsp if using powdered kind)
- 1 tbsp butter (or more, if you feel it's needed)
- 1 tsp garlic salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray.
2. Rinse pork chops. Mix breadcrumbs with salt, garlic powder, and thyme (optional: If I'm lazy, I'll mix in 1 tsp of powdered Ranch dressing mix - a tasty option!), and then throw the porkchops on the baking tray. Spray top of pork chops with cooking spray (it'll help the breading crisp up!) Cook for 20 minutes, flipping them over at 10 minutes.
3. After flipping the pork chops over at the 10-minute mark, set a small saucepan filled with the 1 cup water to boil (put the lid on it, it'll boil faster!) over medium-high heat. Once the water's boiling, mix in the chicken bouillion and let it dissipate into the water. Once the bouillion's blended in, take the saucepan off the heat (turn off the burner!) and stir in the couscous. Re-cover the saucepan with the lid, and LEAVE IT ALONE for 5 minutes.
4. Once the couscous has sat for 5 minutes, you may start to add seasoning. Stir in the butter and garlic salt. Sprinkle the garlic salt in gradually, tasting as you go; you might need want more or less, depending on your taste. =) Other flavoring ideas: McCormick's "Grill Mates" Roasted Garlic and Onion (I like to sprinkle a little in while the couscous is hot).

That's it! Simple, tasty, filling. I usually throw in some lettuce from a bag o' salad or nuke some frozen veggies to get some veggies in. Bon appetit!

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