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Creamy Mustard Pork Chops

Reviewed: Oct. 17, 2010
This recipe immediately appealed to me, and I have to say it was AWESOME. If you have an extra 10 minutes and want to add real depth of flavor, let me tell you what to do... brown the pork chops as instructed but instead of adding the sauce right in, remove the pork chops to a plate and put one small-to-medium onion, sliced in the skillet (add a little more butter to the pan if it's too dry). After one-two minutes, add a container of sliced white mushrooms (has to be fresh, sorry - otherwise skip it). Saute until slightly softened, then add a healthy shot of bourbon or cognac to deglaze the pan (turn off the burner for a second while you do this for safety). Let this cook until the alcohol has pretty much evaporated/been absorbed by the onions and mushrooms. Then add in the liquids as instructed and return the pork chops (including any juices they have released on to the plate) to the pan and finish recipe as instructed. I had Colman's Mustard Powder in my pantry, which is a very high quality product, so I opted to use this in addition to the dijon mustard to add another layer of mustard flavor. I created a little spice mixture of the lemon pepper, a bit of kosher salt, the mustard powder and some more fresh ground black pepper since mine was a little heavy on the lemon side. I rubbed this on BOTH sides of the pork chops and added it the onions/mushrooms while they softened. The result was absolutely excellent.
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Lentil Soup

Reviewed: Aug. 19, 2010
GREAT soup! I preferred this to a food network recipe I tried last time. This doesn't need many changes at all, but I did read many of the reviews before I prepared it and here are my notes in response: I agree with those who added cumin, and those who upped the amounts of the spices; I also put in a few pinches of red pepper flakes for kick (doesn't affect flavor in such a big batch); I disagree with those that upped the amount of tomatoes - a 14.5oz can is the right amount I think; and I agree with those that went half broth/half water for the 8 cups of liquid. Half broth adds good flavor; if you go all broth, you are just wasting money and getting unnecessary salt (even with the low sodium brands - unless of course you make your own at home). I don't think you need to puree a portion and add it back in as some people did. I guess the size of lentils can vary, though, so that's a good tip to keep in mind if the texture comes out a little thick for your taste. Finally, if you're a spinach fan, the soup will "take" a lot more than half a cup once wilted, so feel free to use up whatever you bought. Again, kudos to Marie! I feel like I "know" how to make lentil soup now thanks to this great base recipe.
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