{How to} Make Juicy Chops. The other white meat.

Welcome back to my kitchen. This is a recipe from my sister in law Molly. Yes, I have a sister in law and a {step}sister named Molly. Some day we’ll talk about names and how they continue to repeat themselves in our family. Like, next. But for now:

We like pork chops in our house but I’ve always had a problem making dry chops. A little rubbery. Not juicy and tender. Behold folks, I have got the answer! Or rather, Molly has the answer and I’m showing you how.

Here’s a rough estimate of you’ll need:

{how to} make juicy chops

And here’s a more accurate view of what you’ll need:

{how to} make juicy chops

You’ll Need:

# Pork chops, any cut and with or without bone is fine.
# Chicken stock
# Flour
# Garlic
# Onion
# Milk
# Butter
# Salt and pepper

We’ll start by browning the chops. This is the key to a juicy pork chop.

Brown em!

A closer look at what you’re going after:

{how to} make juicy chops

While you’re in the middle of browning the pork chops you’ll want to melt half stick of butter … you’ll have a few things going on at once, but you can take this one step at a time and it’ll be fine too.

Melt butter

My oven at this point:

{how to} make juicy chops

Once all your pork has been browned on both sides – set aside in a 9X13 baking dish.

{how to} make juicy chops

Your butter should be melted and now we’ll make the gravy. Add 2 TBS flour (FYI I used whole wheat because it’s what I had on hand, delicious!) to your butter and whisk quickly to combine, it’ll become a pasty little mixture – that’s good. Don’t let it burn though.

{how to} make juicy chops

{how to} make juicy chops

{how to} make juicy chops

{how to} make juicy chops

Add 1/2 cup milk. (FYI, I’m using Almond Milk because it’s what I had on hand. It was great.)

{how to} make juicy chops

Keep whisking to combine.

{how to} make juicy chops

Next you’ll add your chicken stock – about 2-3 cups.

{how to} make juicy chops

Now add your garlic to the gravy – if you’re using fresh use 2 cloves. Smash them with your knife and the palm of your hand and it’ll break the stubborn layers of skin so you can easily peel it away and chop. For an in-depth look at this process see this recipe for Swiss Chard.

{how to} make juicy chops

{how to} make juicy chops

{how to} make juicy chops

Slice up the other half of the stick of butter and place on top of chops.

{how to} make juicy chops

{how to} make juicy chops

Add onions.

{how to} make juicy chops

Pour gravy over pork chops.

{how to} make juicy chops

{how to} make juicy chops

{how to} make juicy chops

Salt and pepper.

{how to} make juicy chops

Put in oven at 325 for 2 hours. If you’re short on time – put it in the oven at 400 for 45 min. (wink.)

It looks like a heart attack in a baking dish out of the oven, I know. I know!

{how to} make juicy chops

Your heart will probably skip a beat, that’s for sure – but plate them before you serve them and leave the dish in the kitchen. That helps.

{how to} make juicy chops

A few notes: The plated photo is kind of like … huh?, right? Lighting had gone downhill by the time we plated them to eat so my apologies there. Also, we inhale these things so it’s hard to get any photos while we’re all sitting there in silent heaven devouring these.

Yup, lots of butter – but you can totally elliminate that. Want to make a healthier gravy? Go for it. Use either flour OR milk with a little butter – you can play with it. Chicken stock, good. You could probably just bake them in broth and it’ll be fine too – but you should try the gravy because Molly knows what she’s doing in the kitchen and it’s amazing.

Enjoy!

For the Chops

Brown pork chops on high heat, turn to brown both sides.

Set aside in a 9X13 baking dish.

Spread with 4 TBS cubed butter (optional)

Add chopped, sliced or minced onions to the dish.

For the Gravy

Melt 4 TBS butter over medium high heat.

Add 2 TBS flour and whisk to combine, reduce heat to medium.

Add 1/2 cup milk, whisk to combine.

Add 2-3 Cups chicken stock, stir to combine and thicken. Reduce heat to simmer.

Add garlic or salt and pepper – other herbs and spices to taste.

Pour gravy over chops and bake at 325 for 2 hours.

{How to} Make Elephant Ears!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

This is the recipe that started it all. Being: Walking tacos, Corn dogs, Caramel apples. I had it in my head that I could make Elephant Ears. I did spend a summer working in one of the junk food carts here and there for different festivals, art fairs and carnivals. I saw this first hand.

Plus I kinda like deep frying stuff. Seeing something burn and fry into an edible delight is a weird hobby of mine. Ingredients instantly become edible. I mean!! I love it.

This ended up being a two step (and multiple day) process for me – but you can do it all in one day. I promise.

You’ll Need:

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

# Crisco (Important. Must be shortening.)
# Sugar
# Flour
# Milk
# Yeast
# Salt
# Vegetable oil (for frying, not pictured here.)

Start by melting your shortening in a pan on the stove. (Recipe calls for 6 TBS)

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Add 1 1/2 Cups Milk.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Add 2 TBS sugar.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Stir to combine and help the shortening melt.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

It’ll look like this when it’s melted and ready to set aside, remove from heat and let cool to approx 110 degrees F. (I used a meat thermometer to help me figure out when that was.)

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Get ready to combine your dry ingredients together, if you have one of these goddesses on hand … bring her out. Pet her nicely. Kiss her. Take her photo.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

I like to think this one has a name … so I whisper sweet nothings into Better Betty’s ear.

When your milk/shortening and sugar mixture is cooled down – add 2 packages dry yeast and let sit and get happy and bubbly.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

When bubbles and happiness (it’ll rise) are going on add the mixture to your mixer bowl.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Add 4 Cups flour.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

(And a teaspoon salt, no photo.)

Mix it up!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

You made dough!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Generously flour a work surface and plop the dough onto it.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Knead until you have a nice smooth, elastic ball. A lot of recipes call for kneading for about 8 minutes. Sure – that sounds fun to write in a recipe and some people (ehum, Mother.) will set a timer and actually do that … I have better things to do for 8 whole minutes than spank dough. Unless I’m angry, then I usually knead it for 15. And it’s cheap therapy.

But when the sun is shinning and you have 5 other recipes/dishes to make and photograph … you can cut that waaaaay down and still get wonderful results.

Just being honest.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Place back in bowl and cover with towel (or plastic wrap) and let rise for 45 minutes.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

It’ll look like this:

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

From here you can skip ahead to rolling out balls and frying them or if you’re short on time – cover it and stick in the fridge. For the record I had mine covered in the fridge for 4 days.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

When you’re ready to fry them, get your vegetable oil out and a frying pan. Pour about 1 Cup oil into the pan and heat up. Nice and hot.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Heat up oil

While it’s heating up, grab a ball of dough and on a floured surface (I did it on top of my slipmat) and roll out.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Place the dough carefully into the hot oil and watch it bubble. It’ll (should) happen fairly soon. If it doesn’t – your oil isn’t hot enough yet.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Leave it for a minute or so, turn it over.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Drain on paper towels and quickly sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Transfer to wax or parchment paper to serve.

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

Enjoy!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

{how to} make Elephant Ears! boo-yay!

———————————————
For a time saver look what my dear friend and reader did today:

jodimichelle.com reader made some elephant ears!!

Instead of making the dough and waiting for it to rise, etc she just used Jumbo Biscuits – rolled em out and then fried em up. They’re smaller and a bit dough-ier she said but they look amazing (and I, myself, love a little extra dough.) Thanks for sharing, Heidi!

For a tutorial on the short cut from Heidi go here! I contributed the recipe how to over on CurvyGirlGuide.com šŸ˜‰

(Recipe credit)

Exposed

Hi! So today was kind of a whirlwind for so many reasons – some really exciting ones are:

Front page feature on Tasty Kitchen

My How to make Corn Dogs was featured on the front page of Tasty Kitchen as pictured above.

But also (!!) my How to make Walking Taco’s was featured over on One Pretty Thing today.

Plus I got a shout out on twitter from Tasty Kitchen … and well. Squealing ensued.

Definitely a good day around here in the interweb world. Plus I got to hold a newborn and chat with some friends, worked out at the gym and met with a trainer. Fed my family a home-cooked meal that wasn’t deep fried šŸ˜‰ and opened the door to some really exciting ideas.

And it’s only Tuesday. Tomorrow we’ll tackle some more Carny food.

In case you missed it here’s what we’ve covered so far.




{How to} Make Corn Dogs

Welcome! If you’re passing through from another site, thanks so much for stopping by! There’s a lot of great ways to stay in touch: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Google + and Linked In.

These were easy (just like the walking tacos) and so very good. I was surprised how well these turned out, to be completely honest. Deep frying something at home when you’re expecting your favorite Carnival food at the end of your hands is setting the bar pretty high.

We exceeded said standard. Now … you can too.

How to make Corn Dogs!

This is going to be a photo heavy post so we’ll get right to it.

You’ll need:

# Yellow corn meal
# Flour
# Sugar
# Salt and pepper
# Baking powder
# Milk
# An egg
# Skewers
# Hot dogs
# Vegetable or canola oil to fry in

In the words of my daughter “Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy”. You heard it here first šŸ˜‰

How to make Corn Dogs!

Start by heating up the oil in a pan over the stove on high heat. If you have a deep fryer, fire that baby up. I have a Fry Daddy, Jr and it just wasn’t big enough for these. (I pulled out my largest frying pan and still was only able to fry one at a time and often needing to tilt the pan in order to coat the corn dog for even coverage. So … just play around with how you might need to get this done. But it can be done.)

Heat oil over stove

Now mix half an egg and 1/2 C. milk and set aside. (Half an egg because I halved the recipe. It calls for 16 hot dogs which we cannot eat, so I made only half the recipe and yes – actually cracked, stirred and then discarded half the egg. Entire recipe at bottom of post.)

Mix egg and milk, stir and set aside

Measure 1/2 C. Yellow cornmeal, add it to a bowl.

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

Add 1/2 C. Flour.

How to make Corn Dogs!

Add 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

Add 2 TBS sugar.

How to make Corn Dogs!

Here’s where I should tell you that I don’t generally measure when I’m cooking or baking. Science aside, I get it. Not everything I make turns out because of this but I have a surprising average of edible food so … with the salt, pepper and sugar (and you’ll see next the baking powder) I just kind of eye-balled it. That’s where I’m comfortable – if you’re not … go with the spoons and the cups. šŸ˜‰

Add 2 tsp baking powder.

How to make Corn Dogs!

And if you’re like me (eye-baller) you might have figured that was a little more than 2 tsp. So you left some out.

How to make Corn Dogs!

Now stir that sucker up!

How to make Corn Dogs!

Add the egg/milk mixture.

Add egg/milk mixture

And stir til combined.

Still til combined

Now grab your skewers and pierce your dogs. I started with 5 of the 8 hot dogs I set out and ended up frying 6, which used all the batter I had made. (Mental note.)

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

Spread the batter on an even work surface to coat the dogs. The first one I did was not pretty, I ended up using my hands and made a mess (was trying to stay in the bowl before I figured out there just needed to be a better way to go about this, hence no photos of that trial and error.)

How to make Corn Dogs!

And roll the dog in the batter until covered. I used a spatula to help the process along.

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

By now your oil should be hot enough to fry. I think a trick to tell is to spat some water on the surface – it should hiss.

So, one at a time (is how it worked for me) fry them dogs. Mmmm. It goes faster than you think it will. Just turn to brown and when it reaches the color you’re happy with – it’s done!

How to make Corn Dogs!

You can see I’m tilting the pan to coat …

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

Mmmmm, deep fried art!

How to make Corn Dogs!

This baby is done!

How to make Corn Dogs!

Please enjoy.

How to make Corn Dogs!

How to make Corn Dogs!

Oh heavens.

How to make Corn Dogs!

I used this recipe for the corn dogs and would give it 5 stars. Yum yum yum.

Here’s the halved recipe I used for the corn dogs but as it says here for 8 – it really only made 6.

Corn Dogs

Ingredients

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
8 beef frankfurters
8 wooden skewers

First: In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, sugar and baking powder. Stir in eggs and milk.
Second: Preheat oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Insert wooden skewers into frankfurters. Roll frankfurters in batter until well coated.
Third: Fry 2 or 3 corn dogs at a time until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

There’s more coming this week for our ode-to-junk-food festival!
Right now we’ve also got a How-To for Walking Tacos.

We’ll cover your sweet-tooth too, don’t worry.

(FYI: This is not how my family eats on a regular basis and I understand you with your furrowed brow looking at all this processed and fried food. Soon I’m going to incorporate HFCS into a recipe and THEN WHAT!!?? You’re so cute, can we just hug? It will be ok.)

Featured on One Pretty Thing.

How To: Make a candy board

This comes from watching my mom do these things for special occasions while growing up.

A candy board is a big ol’ card that you make with an assortment of candy bars to substitute for the words.

How to: Make a candy board

I made one for my friend who just welcomed baby numero 3 to their family … BABIES! (I love babies.)

I ended up with these candy bars words to work with from a trip to the pharmacy.

How to: Make a candy board

And got right to work.

You’ll Need:

Poster Board (or heavy paper, any size)
Candy with words displayed on packaging
Tape
Sharpie, or pen

My camera was acting up that day so I don’t have the usual play by play of the process. But I do have this:

After you write your board out and just place the candy in for the appropriate words, you need to tape them down. I used scotch tape, easy. Just make a loop, stick that sucker to the candy and place the package to the poster board.

How to: Make a candy board

How to: Make a candy board

How to: Make a candy board

Repeat until all the packages are taped on your poster board and you’re good to go!

How to: Make a candy board

It reads:

Stacey – A SYMPHONY for you …
You’re the MAMBA of 3 MUSKETEERS!
How much have you’re OH HENRY! moments
increased? Does your brain feel like SKITTLES
from those SUGAR BABIES? I hope your
CHUCKLES have increased from all the BUNS
you see šŸ™‚ But we married NERDS who travel
and leave us to RAISINETS the GOOBERS.
You’ve got a week of LIFESAVERS coming <3 (something along those lines, I can't remember what I said where it gets cut off in the photo ... ) You can do this with almost anything - my mom wrote me a letter for one of my bridal showers to coordinate with the gift - it was a laundry hamper full of cleaning products and the names of the products were worked into the letter. I saved it, I'll find it and share it with you - it was so fitting and completely hilarious. I like these as an alternative to Easter Baskets, First days of school, Valentines cards, and birthdays. It's a fun and easy way to make a personalized (and tasty) card. Especially if you don't have the time to bake a cake or cookies or something - grab 3 or 4 candy bars and make some one's day! (Also, no craftiness involved. So you can continue to pretend you actually make cards with your stash of paper, glue and glitter. I know you.)