Adventures in Everyday Entertaining
As I mentioned in my latest edition of ‘Magnificent Blogger Shout-Out‘, my cousin was visiting. He is here in Austin for a conference so yesterday was the only day we could spend with him. In addition to showing him some of the sights, I also wanted to prepare a nice meal for all of us in the evening. Here comes the challenge. How do I spend the whole day sight-seeing and still have time to entertain for dinner in the evening? This challenge comes up in many of our lives for a variety of different reasons — work, raising kids, and countless other activities that occur. The trick is to plan ahead!
I knew that I wanted to make Pork Chops with Brandy and Mushrooms. A recipe that needed not only prep time, but an hour to bake. Not only did we have a full day planned out and about, but I didn’t want to spend almost two hours of the evening in the kitchen and not with our guest. The solution: PRE-PREP! In the morning I browned the pork chops, sauteed the mushrooms and onions, and made the sour cream mixture. I then put them in Tupperware containers and in the fridge for later. I also cut up the carrots and put them in Tupperware as well. Another way I did pre-prep was by setting the table before we even left the house.
Once we got back to the house, I combined the pork recipe ingredients in the dutch oven and started baking. The carrots were transferred to a pot to be boiled. All I had to do was peel potatoes for the sour cream mashed potatoes and get them boiling. This meant spending most of that hour the pork was baking in the living room having a glass of wine with my cousin and husband! Crock-pot meals are also a solution to this challenge but at least for me, I like having the option of making a wide variety of dishes for entertaining — crock-pot or no crock-pot.
Pork Chops with Brandy and Mushrooms
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
Heat olive oil in dutch oven, or other oven safe pot. Season pork chops with cracked pepper and kosher salt. Brown pork chops in dutch oven.
Remove pork chops and set aside on a plate. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic to dutch oven and saute. Carefully add brandy, scrapping any bits on the bottom of the pan from the pork. Cook until liquid is almost evaporated.
Stir sour cream mixture into pan.
Return pork to dutch oven, spoon sauce over pork. Cover and bake in oven for 1 hour.
Remove and garnish with sage.