Sometimes life comes together in simple, beautiful ways…not often, but sometimes. Times like when you walk outside and the sun is at a perfect angle and there is just a slight breeze and the warmth of the day is just right and the neighborhood is unaccountably quiet and you feel at complete peace. Or maybe like times when you walk into church one Sunday and you just know that God is happy because you can ‘feel’ the joy in the building and you find yourself truly loving the people around you, even the ones that are new to you. Or maybe even sometimes with making a simple dinner for your family, which they love, and which didn’t take any special effort on your part.
Mixing the church comment and the simple dinner comment in the same paragraph may seem odd, but when I made this particular dinner, I felt so peaceful. I think that the peace came because there was no frantic hurry involved with its preparation. For four whole hours I didn’t have to worry about dinner. It did help, I’ll admit, that I have two slow cookers, a very old one that I have had for many years and a relatively new one with a bell and whistle or two.
In one slow cooker I made Pork Chops with Dressing and Gravy and in the other slow cooker I made some delicious Savory Mashed Potatoes (recipe and how-to in tomorrow’s post). Just FYI, the cheesy mashed potatoes are really and truly done all in the slow cooker–a one pot wonder.
Before I go any further, you need to know that this recipe for the pork chops has cream of chicken soup in it. If you have a problem with using ‘cream of’ soups, then perhaps this is not a good recipe for you. Like I have already said, though, this recipe is simple, easy, and stress free. Sometimes stress-free = using cream of chicken soup in a recipe.
I do use Campbell’s Healthy Request brand of cream of chicken soup and I stand by it as the most flavorful brand of soup. I have tried other store brands of ‘cream of’ soups and they just don’t have what I am looking for in flavor and texture. The addition of the cream of chicken soup to this meal provides a no-fuss gravy. A box of stuffing mix and some fresh onions bring lots of flavor to the meal. Because of the nature of a slow cooker, the pork chops end up being fork tender.
Add a simple tossed salad with some of those delicious garden vegetables that are available at this time of year and the meal is complete. The pork chops provide your meat and bread, the savory mashed potatoes provide the starch/carb that makes us all so happy, and the salad brings fresh vegetables to round out the meal. Happiness on a dinner plate.
Update 1/23/14: A commentor, RGoss2010, used frozen pork chops to make this. Here are her changes: “I heated it (the slow cooker) for 2 hours on high, then turned it to low for 4 and a half hours. I did put a little olive oil in the crock pot first and used a paper towel to coat the sides and bottom with a thin layer to help later with cleaning. I also used a can full of chicken broth (instead of the water).”