My daughters are ages 9 and 10. When I was their age I was cooking quite a bit because my parents worked full time. I taught myself how to cook from trial and error based on ingredients we had on hand. I was a bit fearless in the kitchen because I didn’t know what I was doing and if I wanted to eat I had to figure it out. Over the years my cooking and baking abilities improved with experience and I attribute all this to my love of cooking today.
As someone who follows culinary trends and conversations on the internet, it always makes me a little sad when I read expert opinions on what home cooking should look like – it’s either black or white with no shades of grey in between. Not everyone is going to have basic skills and knowledge of cooking fundamentals but I believe there is an assumption that people do. This explains why cooking can be intimidating for parents who have never learned simple cooking techniques and recipes. Failure, waste of time and money on ingredients, and discouraging feedback from their kids are just a few valid reasons why some of my “mom” friends hate cooking.
My approach to cooking and baking here on Kitchen Explorers and my own cooking site (Savory Sweet Life) is to help take the intimidation out of cooking by sharing easy and delicious family recipes which are often times very basic. Every time someone visits this site I never assume they know how to cook. By offering simplified recipes, my desire is to help people to not only build their culinary confidence but to increase their level of joy and excitement for home cooked dishes to feed their families.
Today’s recipe for how to cook pork chops is pretty basic but such a great one to learn. It’s the type of main dish you can put together very quickly with what you probably already have in the kitchen. Add some steamed vegetables along with a side of brown rice and you have yourself a great family weeknight meal which will take you less time to cook than heating a store bought frozen casserole. If you’re new to cooking or have been intimidated to cook because of the reasons I previously mentioned above, cooking from Kitchen Explorers is a great way to learn how to cook great meals for your family. It is also a great opportunity to invite your children into the kitchen to cook alongside you; giving them the culinary foundation and confidence they’ll be able to build on for many years to come.
Recipe: How to Cook Pork Chops
A tried and true pork chop recipe.
- 1 cup flour
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- dried thyme
- 4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in
- olive or vegetable oil
- Pat the pork chops dry on both sides with a paper towel. Add the flour to a large dinner plate. Season the pork chops with salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (approximately ¼ teaspoon) of thyme on each side, followed by dredging the pork in the flour; shaking off the excess.
- Heat a skillet (preferably cast-iron) on medium heat and coat with just enough oil to cover the surface of the pan. When the pan is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan being careful not to crowd them. Fry the pork chops for 3 minutes on each side until cooked through and the center of the pork chops is not pink. Leaving the pork chops in the pan, turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid or foil. Allow the pork chops to rest in the pan for 3 minutes before removing to serve. This way the pork chops remain tender and moist.
- ****Cooking times will vary for thinner or thicker chops. I have found cooking pork chops 3/4" thick for 3-4 minutes on each side to be just perfect.