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Easy and make-ahead company worthy food is hard to come by. And although lasagna has always been my go-to, I can’t make it every single time I have people coming for dinner (especially when it’s the same people). That’s why I love this One-Pan Plum Glazed Pork Chop recipe! It’s quick, simple, delicious and can be made ahead or within 30 minutes.
I have made that mistake; trying to make a fancy, complicated dinner the same night I was having company. It happened not too long after we moved into our house, about 15 years ago. While trying to play amazing hostess (which I am clearly not) to some of my husband’s family, I attempted to make this fancy rib roast meal out of some woman’s magazine. Not only did I make it right before they were coming over, I had never made it before that night. Lesson learned.
You have to step it up a notch when you have company and I honestly find that a little stressful. I love this recipe because it can be made ahead (and even frozen) or made right after work (in under 30 minutes) and the bonus is that it’s completely company worthy! This is one pan plum pork is one of my favorite easy pork chop recipes and I have been making it for years, although I’ve changed it somewhat along the way.
It’s hard to whip up a fancy meal when you already have people at your house. You want to visit, you are trying to do other things and I don’t know about you, but personally, I don’t tend to perform well under any kind of pressure. I much prefer to cook ahead and this is one of my favorite one-pot stove top pork chops recipes for that very reason.
The microwave is not your dinner party friend:
Speaking from experience, you may want to consider heating these pork chops up on the stove (instead of the microwave) if you make it ahead and want to serve it to company. I learned the hard way that the microwave is not your friend when it comes to dinner parties. It may heat things up fast, but it also cools things down really fast too.
When you cook food in the microwave, it cools food down faster than on the stove top or oven and this has to do with how the microwave heats food, as well as standing time. Read more about that here: why food that was cooked in the microwave cools faster. And here, a microwave scientist answers the question: why microwave food cools faster in a little more ‘sciency’ detail ( you know, thermodynamics and all that stuff!)
All I know is that by the time I got all 4 of my microwave heated fancy dishes out on to the table at that dinner party and we started eating, the food was stone cold. I would have been much better off to keep it on warm in the oven or on the stove top. Or better yet – I would have been better off making something simpler, making it ahead and not reheating it in the microwave! And since most stoves have a warming drawer and/or warming element now-a-days anyway, this is even more practical and doable.
Fabulous Food Hack:
And speaking of practical: store your fresh ginger in the freezer!
This recipe uses fresh ginger and ginger is usually a real pain to store because it goes bad so fast. I store my ginger in the freezer in a small freezer bag, pull it out and peel it with a carrot peeler, then grate it right into my food. It lasts several months in the freezer and this hack saves you both time and money!
And don’t forget Dessert!
If you need a make-ahead, easy dessert that’s also totally company worthy, which of course you do, try my No Bake Black Forest Tiramisu -it’s always well-loved by guests and potluck goers alike.
Since that dinner party fail all those years ago, I have become a big believer in the KISS principal (Keep it simple stupid) and the rule: don’t attempt fancy meals that you have never made when you are having people over for dinner. Better yet, don’t make fancy meals at all when you are having guests for dinner, especially ones that can’t be cooked in advance or take more than 30 minutes. One just doesn’t need the stress or pressure. Plus, wouldn’t you rather have that time for socializing and enjoying your guests? I would.
So, if you are looking for Chinese pork with plum sauce recipes, this one is quick and easy (saving you stress and hassle) and will be a huge hit with your company!
Things you will use forever!
Plum-Glazed Pork Chops
- 4 pork loin chops boneless
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1/2 red pepper cored and sliced (julienned)
- 1/2 green pepper cored and sliced (julienned)
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 2/3 cup plum sauce
- 4 tbsp orange juice
- 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes/crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp orange zest
- In large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Mix flour and salt and pepper together.
- Coat both sides of each pork with flour mixture and cook in oil heated pan , turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side or until the pork is browned.
- Reduce heat to medium. Stir in plum sauce, orange juice, orange zest and hot pepper flakes. Add carrot, both red and green pepper, onion and ginger to pan, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes.
Serve over rice.
- Garnish with crispy/dry chow mein noodles, if desired.