Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pork n' Penne Skillet

I have been enjoying a recent library rental cookbook called the Taste of Home Busy Family Favorites. It has many tested, quick, easy and delicious meals for days when you're on the go or simply don't have time to be in the kitchen for an hour or more. All the recipes take about 30 minutes to make, and this one has the added bonus of being a "one-pan" skillet supper! Sometimes it's nice not to have a stack of dishes to wash when you're done cooking (I'm sure my husband thinks so- he's usually the dish washer)!

That being said, this yummy dish is not only quick, but it's delicious! Tender strips of pork, penne, mushrooms (yes, I said mushrooms...we'll get to that in a moment), peppers and onions, all simmering in a creamy tomato sauce...this is some serious comfort food.

So, about the mushrooms.

If you know me very well, you know that mushrooms are a food I ignore.

I'm not on an active campaign to destroy them, I just avoid them.

And, if they happen to be included in something I want to order, the menu and I exchange awkward glances and I order something else.

Or sometimes I boldly order previously mushrooms laden entrees sans mushrooms.

That's all.

But...this year on Mother's Day we had steak at my in-law's house and Mom sautéed these gorgeous mushrooms in butter and served them with the steak. WOW. I was intrigued.

It was enough to convince me to give mushrooms a chance. I had never cooked with fresh mushrooms before, so maybe it wasn't fair, this avoidance of mine.

So...I bought some.

And put them in this skillet.

Then I ordered a meal at Applebee's that featured mushrooms with chicken. I ate them.

Then I put them on pizza.

All instances were very tasty! Needless to say, I think my frigid relationship with mushrooms is over. While we still aren't BFF's, I am definitely letting them into my life.

No more awkward glances.

Pork n' Penne Skillet
from Taste of Home Busy Family Favorites
serves 8 (I halved it for us)

2 TB flour
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 lb. boneless pork loin chops, trimmed and cut into strips
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red sweet pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 TB oil
1 TB butter
1 tsp minced garlic
3 cups milk
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
2 cups uncooked penne

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine flour, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add pork, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.
In a large skillet, cook the pork, mushrooms, onion, pepper and oregano in oil and butter over medium heat for 4 to 6 or until pork is browned. Add garlic, cook 1 min. longer.
Add milk, tomato sauce, and pasta. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 min. or until meat is tender and pasta is done.

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