Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ranch Pork Chops

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Many folks are looking to make changes to their diet this year. Whether that means cutting back on calories, eating more fresh, whole foods like fruits and vegetables or just doing a better job in enjoying indulgences in moderation, it's different for everyone. Even the term 'healthy' has become a debatable topic. But for me, my food goals are more aligned with continuing to adapt recipes to my gluten free lifestyle. I've been gluten free now for over a year and in some ways, I had to relearn a few things.The past year was where I tackled gluten free baking with a little more confidence. This year, I hope to keep on learning and testing gluten free recipes so that my non-gluten free family, friends and I can enjoy them without realizing the dishes cater to an alternative diet. One such example of a 'What? This is gluten free?!' recipe is this for Ranch Pork Chops. Pork chops are coated in a ranch-seasoned flour and cooked twice for color and texture. To make it even more comforting, a pan gravy is served on top just to give it that extra home-style touch...


So in a typical, standard, gluten laden recipe, all purpose flour would be used to coat the pork chops before cooking and again in making the gravy. I still used flour but a gluten free flour blend which you can either purchase from the store or make yourself (which I recommend). Just by having a gluten free flour blend available in your pantry, you can easily adapt and substitute any all purpose flour called for in recipes. But I'm still learning about gluten free substitutions  There are various ways to substitute and it isn't also a 1:1 ratio... like in baking for example. Thankfully, this recipe is a 1:1 ratio and using a gluten free flour blend is practically fail-proof.

The original recipe didn't call for any flour but because I cooked the pork chops twice - once to brown on the stove top and again in the oven - the flour helped with the crisp texture and maintaining some moisture in the pork. 
Ranch Pork Chops
recipe adapted from Hidden Valley Ranch


Ingredients
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (divided) gluten free flour blend
  • To taste Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 pork loin rib chops about 1-inch thick
  • 3-5 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup chicken broth
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the Seasoning mix, 1 cup gluten free flour blend, salt and pepper, and whisk well. Liberally dredge the porkchops on both sides with the seasoned flour.
  3. Heat skillet over medium high heat and add oil. When hot, add a few pork chops to the skillet and brown on both sides. Repeat with remaining pork chops.
  4. Transfer browned pork chops to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes or until the pork chop internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  5. With the oil left in skillet after all port chops have been browned,warm up over medium heat.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon flour into the pan, whisk in, then add additional salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes until thickened. Season, to taste, and serve.
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