Busy weeknights sometimes mean meals get thrown together -- perhaps some pork chops, a mashed potato, and some vegetables -- so long as dinner is on the table, right? But probably more than once, the pork chop ends up disappointing, dry, and flavorless. But 20-minute weeknight recipes don't have to be disappointing, dry, and flavorless. The solution to this issue is a pantry staple: canned cream of mushroom soup.
Canned soups -- especially cream of mushroom, cream of celery, and cream of chicken -- can transform a meal, bringing it to another level while getting dinner on the table in record time. Pairing boneless pork chops and mushroom gravy is a classic combination, but using a can of cream of mushroom soup simplifies the meal -- open a can of soup, grab some pork chops, and pop it all in the oven or a skillet, and the meal will be done in under 30 minutes. You didn't have to clean, chop, and sauté mushrooms, and you didn't have to make a roux and thicken it over low heat.
Canned cream of mushroom soup is probably one of the most versatile items in your pantry. In addition to pork chops, it can eliminate steps in a variety of dishes, like stroganoff or a casserole, that usually require some sort of preparatory steps before you actually start cooking. This canned good comes in handy when you're too busy for all the fiddly stuff.
How To Level Up Convenient Cooking
Recipes that use a can of soup as a quick dinner solution are economical and flavorful. You simply open a can of cream of mushroom soup, get some pork chops, put it all in a crockpot, and forget about it until dinner time -- you'll have something edible but not amazing. But there are additional steps you can take to make sure it's the best it can be.
Start off by seasoning your pork chops with salt and pepper at least half an hour before you plan to cook. Searing your pork chops before putting them into the crock pot, skillet, or Dutch oven will impart some extra flavor from the Maillard reaction, which browns the food, making it taste and look better. Sautéing some garlic or onion, adding some aromatics like thyme or rosemary, and deglazing the pan with some chicken stock or white wine will also go a long way to making your convenient, quick meal taste like it's been cooking all afternoon. Adding a bag of frozen vegetables to the mix also saves you time.
Using canned cream of mushroom soup is not only easy, but it's a great shortcut for busy people. So, keep a can or two in stock for your next easy weeknight meal of pork chops.
Read the original article on Mashed.