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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Lemony pork chops fit for company

Thursday, April 27, 2000

Tested by Nancy Anderson

Today's entree comes from Monroeville's Maureen Kane who claims there aren't enough recipes for pork in Countdown to Dinner.

"I see chicken, chicken, chicken," the retired school teacher said. "This pork dish is very easy and good, so I thought I'd send it in."

We were delighted to get her recipe for Company Pork Chops, which was given to her years ago by a relative and has become a favorite with husband Barry, a retired government worker.

"Neither one of us are that fond of pork, but this recipe does it for us," she said. "I don't know if it's the nutmeg or the lemon or both."

We think it's both. One of the most rewarding things about Countdown is finding recipes that combine a few simple ingredients to produce a distinctive flavor.

Not many of us think of lemon and nutmeg with pork -- or any other meat for that matter -- but they enhance rather than overwhelm what could be bland chops.

A dab of butter and bread crumbs help, too. Kane said she makes her own crumbs by "whirring a piece of bread in my mini-food processor."

To round out the menu, she serves a baked potato or rice and a fresh vegetable or fruit salad.

Kane continues to cook full meals even though her three children -- Mary Beth, Bill and Mike -- are grown and gone.

"They all flew the nest and live all over the place," she said, "but I still cook every day. I enjoy it."

Company Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops
Salt and pepper
1 cup bread crumbs, plain (1/2 cup was plenty)
1 lemon
Butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray cookie sheet with Pam. Salt and pepper chops. Sprinkle nutmeg on top. Pat bread crumbs over top of chops.

Slice four thin slices from the lemon and set aside. Squeeze the rest of the lemon over chops.

Dot with butter and place thin slice of lemon on each chop.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes depending on thickness of chops.

Don't overcook.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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