Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pork and Fat Asses

It's been a while since The Chef and I cooked anything "new" to share with everyone. We've been sticking with the usuals- roast, pizzas, simple dinners. But it's the weekend, and a crummy football day so between a big day of cleaning and cooking- we got a lot accomplished.

I'm going to start off with The Chef's part of dinner. We scored a really nice pork loin at the grocery store and decided not to roast it like we originally planned. Instead, he trimmed it up, cut 8 nice thick loin chops and set aside the rest. Half the chops went in the freezer for later and the other half were sauteed in a mixture of butter and our secret homemade meat rub. They were perfect, tender, juicy and delicious. I finished mine with a couple tablespoons of my apple sage jelly melted in the pan drippings and glazed the chops.

What to serve with these wonderful chops ? I decided on one of my family's favorite recipes- we lovingly call it Fat Ass Potatoes (and when you see the ingredients, you'll know why). You might know them as funeral potatoes or brunch potatoes though. Incidentally, the ingredients used in this dish are NOT low fat or fat free products. I've tried using them but they just don't hold up well in the baking and separate into this greasy gooey mass. I don't normally eat alot of deep fried high fat foods anyway, so once or twice a year this won't kill me. I don't recommend substituting those products, so this really is a once in a great great while side dish.

Mom's Famous Fat Ass Potatoes

1 2 lb bag frozen hash browns
1 small bunch green onions, sliced or 1/4 chopped onion
salt and pepper
1-2 cloves minced garlic
couple tablespoons chives
1 stick butter, melted (use BUTTER not margarine, because margarine is mostly water and doesn't perform well in this dish)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 small bag shredded cheddar cheese

Melt butter, combine with sour cream, onions, seasonings and soup.

Add cheese and frozen hashbrowns. Mix thoroughly.

Pile into 9x13 dish that's been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 degrees about an hour. If you have a roast in the oven at a different temperature, you can bake these at the same temp, just add more time as needed. I also make these in the crockpot alot- on high for at least 4 hours or low at least 8 hours.

Some people like to top this with crushed potato chips, but I think they are naughty enough !! They get a nice brown top and browned crusty edges, I think the topping is just not necessary, but if you like to add that, by all means, do so.

WARNING: Fat Ass Potatoes are addicting. And the crusty brown heaven !!!

As I said before, the Chef set aside the trimmings from the loin- not fat and stuff, but meat chunks that he cut off to make the rest of the loin uniform and even. Anyway, those he sauteed with a little garlic and olive oil and added lots of yummy Italian ingredients like tomatoes and herbs  to make that classic Italian staple- Sunday Sauce. And even though we didn't eat it today, tomorrow I will come home from a hard day at the office and know I will have an amazing home-cooked pasta dinner waiting for me. You can bet there will be plenty of photo ops tomorrow too !!

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