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Low-Calorie Smothered Pork Chops Recipe

It's the way to get your comfort food fix in one low-calorie dish.
Low-Calorie Smothered Pork Chops RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

On a menu, the word “smothered” foretells a certain type of nutritional doom, one dominated by butter (or worse, margarine or cheap oil) and cream, saturated fat, and excess calories. At home, though, you can do all the smothering you want and still walk away from the table feeling good about the dinner you just put in your body. That’s because in your own kitchen we can control how the smothering is done. In this recipe, our smothering is done with a mixture employed with a list of healthy ingredients, such as chicken stock, low-fat buttermilk, and sharp mustard, which combine with the cooking juices of the pork to create a beautiful—and low-calorie—blanket for the chop. Serve with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and honey-roasted carrots for a perfect comfort feast for you and your loved ones, or add your favorite roasted vegetables, salads or sides to make this feast fit your comfort needs.

Nutrition: 260 calories, 15 g fat (6 g saturated), 720 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

4 thick center-cut pork chops (preferably bone-in), about 6 oz each
Salt and black pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1⁄2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

How to Make It

  1. An hour before cooking, season the chops on both sides with salt, black pepper, and a bit of cayenne and return to the refrigerator. (You can skip this step, but it ensures a juicier, more fully seasoned chop.)
  2. Heat the butter in a large cast-iron skillet or sauté pan over medium heat.
  3. Dust the chops lightly with flour, coating both sides and shaking off any excess flour.
  4. Cook the chops, turning once, for 4 minutes per side, until nicely browned but not cooked all the way through.
  5. Remove to the cutting board.
  6. Add the stock, buttermilk, and mustard to the pan and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half.
  7. Return the chops to the pan and continue simmering for another 3 minutes or so, until they’re just cooked through.
  8. Serve the chops with the gravy poured over the tops and garnished with a bit of parsley if using.

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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