Saturday, August 23, 2008

"Can you cook?"

My grandfather, Ray Mosley, before he passed away several years ago, used to always ask me if I could cook. In general I think the assumption amongst my family members was that I couldn't, and honestly why should they have had any reason to think otherwise? I come from a family that throws down in the kitchen, and my grandmother Henrietta was at the helm of that. And since Ray Mo', as she affectionately called him, couldn't, she made sure that all her children - sons included - knew what they were doing in the kitchen. So what did that mean for me? It meant that though I didn't really cook at all for the first 18 years of my life, I spent all that time observing and occasionally doing with my mother sitting in the corner watching and my daddy explaining that I should hold the knife, "Like so."

My sophomore year in college, I begged my parents to take me off the meal plan. By living in an "off"-campus suite (basically an apartment (building) owned by the school), it was more of a hassle to go to campus to eat in the dining hall than it was to go into my own kitchen make some dinner. So I started to call home and ask, Mommy, how do you make this? Daddy, what do you put in this? ... and out of that, my love of cooking was born.

Long story short - I'm not a do-it-exactly-like-the-recipe-says kind of girl. I'm creative and I work with what I have. I read several recipes for similar dishes and pick what I like from each. I go to the grocery store and buy things that look good, and when I ask myself, what will I eat for dinner tonight? who knows what goodness will be created.

So I've decided that in addition to blogging about my daily life and thoughts, I will shine a spotlight on another important aspect: food! From time to time, I will share with you recipes that I made up in the moment and were super deliciously good.

General Notes on My Recipes: Portion sizes are generally for one or two (multiply as necessary); measuring is rarely exact (taste it or eye ball it); ingredients can always be exchanged for what you prefer or what you have (be creative); don't be mad at me if it didn't turn out right (you made it, not me!).

Grilled Pork Chop topped with Spinach and Mozzarella, with Tomato Rice

In a medium sauce pan with tight fitting lid, combine 1/2 cup of long grain rice, 1 14 oz can of stewed tomatoes and a little (2 oz) extra water. Bring to a boil, then turn down low and cover until it cooks up. Season with a smidget of salt, garlic powder, black and red pepper to taste.

Pork Chop:
Coat center cut pork chop in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place in skillet over medium heat and cook until done. (Is it brown on each side? How pink is the center?) Place on your plate and set to the side.

Chop up 1/3 of a medium red onion, 3 cloves of garlic and a slice of fresh tomato. In the same hot skillet, add more olive oil and saute onion and garlic over low to medium heat. Add a hefty handful of fresh spinach into the pan (keeping in mind that it will significantly shrink). Toss in tomato and as it cooks down, grate mozzarella cheese over the mixture as desired. Mix it all up and when cheese it melted (that won't take long), spoon mixture on top of pork chop. Add a helping of rice and Voila! Yumminess. Enjoy!


jinglin' baby said...

this is slightly ridiculous dude lol...

Katrina said...

al and i are making pork chops tomorrow night! :)

Stan said...

That's MY BabyGirl,... Switchin' in the Kitchen!!!


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