Thursday, August 25, 2011

A new twist on an old favorite

Casseroles....remember those?  My mom had a great one - it was called stuffed pork chops. I've made it a few times but I think over the years it has changed again and again until I can no longer remember the exact recipe

Now, as I'm sure you know, you can't find everything here that you are used to having in your home country. No matter where you call home. We can only strive to find something similar for those special recipes, or to have our recipes evolve as we embrace the food of our new host culture. This is especially good if you are unsure of how long you will be living there, but I would think it would also be a great opportunity for those who know they are only staying a short time (6 months - 1 year) to make their way through the culinary delights that Switzerland has to offer since soon you can be back enjoying the delights of cheap take out.

At the moment, I'm talking about Cream of Mushroom soup - Cambpell's to be exact.  It took a while, but I found something similar at Coop. If the link stops working, it's called Pilzgericht am Rahmsauce and it's the Coop brand - 4.80chf.  A little different, but you can add (if desired) milk to reduce the thickness. For my recipe tonight, I left it alone. I hope you enjoy my evolution of the pork chop casserole.

Cover pork chops with flour and shake off excess. Brown in a frying pan with some oil.
Place at the bottom of an oven safe dish and cover with crumbled bread (chunks not the small crumbs).  Pour 1 can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup over the top and then add a half of can of milk (this is for 4 chops). Bake at 350F (180C) for about an hour.  Serve with baked potatoes.  This is how I remember it anyway.

What I did, and what you will need:
1 package of pork chops (Schwein). I originally bought all meat at Coop as they had pictures of the animal and I knew no German.
Sage for seasoning the pork
A little olive oil
Spinach - fresh/frozen or another if you prefer
Can of mushroom soup - Pizegericht am Rahmsauce
1/2 cup of mashed potatoes (kartoffelstock) Migros had these conveniently packaged and ready to go for me. You can also find them at Coop in the cold section.
1 package (or more) of the pastry shells. Mine were Migros brand and called Pastetli, Blätterteiggebäck

Heat a pan with some oil in it. The chops I got are the 2 minute kind, but the thicker butterfly ones would also be good. I sprinkled some sage in with the oil, and let it heat up

While you are heating up the pan, get out your pastry shells and spoon some of the mushroom sauce in. My shells required cooking at 180 C for 12-15 minutes.  After filling with the sauce, I put the mashed potato into an icing bag.  If you don't have one, it's very easy to put the potatoes in a bag and cut the corner off.  I then piped potatoes on the top of the pastry. 
(After and before the potato topping). Place in the oven. 

I used frozen spinach, so microwaving at this time is a good idea as well. 

Once the oil is hot, put the chops in, brown one side, flip and brown the other. Since these were the thin ones, they were pretty much done but the mushroom/potato bowls weren't so I covered the pan and turned off the heat.

Once everything is done, place it on a plate and enjoy.  I cut open my 'bowl' so I could mix it with the pork chop and spinach. Hubby however waited until the end.  I must say they were quite good and it was a fun new take on an old recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as well.