Sunday, December 30, 2012

Random Cookbook of the Week is back-Best One-Dish Meals

Now that Christmas is over and Mr. Fraser and I are reasonably well-established in our Weight Watchers routine, I figured it's time to get back to Random Cookbook of the Week. This week I drew McCall's Best One-Dish Meals, a 1997 cookbook that I believe may have been a wedding present. Each recipe has basic nutritional info, making calculating its Weight Watchers PointsPlus value nice and simple. (See, Weight Watchers powers that be? I said "PointsPlus" and not just "Points." Aren't you proud of me?)

I chose...

Pork, Pepper, and Onion Sandwiches

- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 (1/4 to 1/3-inch-thick) boneless pork loin chops (about 12 ounces total weight)
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 sweet green or yellow pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
- 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and cut lengthwise again into 1/4-inch-wide strips
- 2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-wide wedges
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 4 thick slices peasant-style bread, toasted

In a cup, combine the thyme, salt, and ground pepper. Stir until the ingredients are blended. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of the mixture over the pork chops; reserve remaining mixture.

In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 tsp of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the pork chops and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side; transfer the pork chops to a platter. Add the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil, the pepper, and the onion to the skillet; saute until the vegetables are coated with oil. Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring once. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and remaining thyme mixture; saute for 2 minutes.

Return the pork chops and any juices on the platter to the skillet. Gently reheat the chops, stirring, until all the ingredients are blended. Sprinkle with the vinegar. Cook, stirring, until the juices boil.

Place each bread slice on a plate. Top with 1 pork chop, some of the vegetable mixture, and some of the pan juices.

For anyone keeping score for Weight Watchers purposes, this comes to 8 PointsPlus.

Mr. Fraser liked the resulting dish fine and ate two servings. (Being male and ~80 lbs heavier than me, he often gets to eat twice as much dinner as I do and stay within Weight Watchers' bounds, sigh.) I took two bites, found it disgusting, with a strange, off, moldy sort of taste, and heated up a frozen mini-pizza instead. All I can think is that the bell pepper was a bit overcooked and overpowering, since I tend to like my peppers on the raw side.

For next week I drew Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Gulp....

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