The older my kids get the more pressed I am to get creative with dinner.
Each night it seems like there is an activity to participate in outside of the house. With each post-school afternoon comes the same rituals at home: relax, homework and piano practice. At times it seems like a lot and deep inside I know what my children need the most—quality time with family.
That’s where the dinner table comes into play.Nourishment revolves around this table and it comes in many vessels.
How do I use table time to feed my family? Responsibilities. Prayer. Food. Conversation.
I desire quality time during quality meals during the week. I’ve come to rely on one pot wonders for at least one of these meals during the week.Recently, we’ve come to enjoy Skillet Pork Chops with Parmesan and Sundried Tomato Couscous. It’s quick and all elements of the meal (main dish and side) are cooked in the same pan. Plus, it requires me to grab only 8 ingredients while I’m doing my weekly shopping at Market Street. And that, my friends, is an even bigger win.
This meal has become a weekly recipe for me recently because it’s not that involved. Plus I can focus on other elements that make a quality experience during dinner time.Responsibilities. I have my children help set the table while I’m cooking. I get down the plates and they place the remaining elements: utensils, napkins, drinks. Giving them chores is a way to help nourish their development. It shows them how to work as a team, how to help others (me, so I don’t have to do as much) and it encourages initiative. There have been times when I haven’t even asked and my darling boy has already set the table.
That is a parenting win.
We pray for others at the dinner table—another form of nourishment, but for the soul and mind because we are thinking of others, helping others and giving thanks.
Then we eat and while we eat, conversations flow. We tell stories of our days, laugh at jokes that the kids make up (which may or may not be funny), we discipline (yes… because feeding the dog or putting feet on the table is JUST not acceptable).All these elements feed our beings and I look forward to it. I find peace when we are together at the table —working together, thinking of others, gathering around edible and nonedible sustenance.
It’s hard during the rush of the day to relish these moments but there is value in it. I love the dinner table and use it to the benefit of my family. I want you to as well.
I hope this one pan, quick weeknight meal filled with quality ingredients from Market Street will give you the momentum to carve out at least one night a week for a moment to feed your family.
Skillet Pork Chops with Parmesan Arugula Israeli Couscous
Be sure to select a thick butterflied pork chop for this recipe. If the couscous gets dry while cooking, add additional chicken stock.
3 butterflied pork chops
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 1/2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 chopped sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup parmesan, freshly grated
3 cups arugula, rough chopped
1 1/3 cup couscous
- In a cast iron skillet heat the olive oil over high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon butter.
- Place two pork chops into the skillet. Brown for 1 1/2 minutes per side, for a total of 3 minutes (this may have to be done in two batches, depending on the size of the pan and pork chops). Remove the pork chops from the heat and cover.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the onions. Lower the heat to medium. Cook the onions off the heat for 2-3 minutes, stir occasionally. Place back onto the burner.
- Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and balsamic vinegar. Scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.
- Add the chicken stock, sundried tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and couscous. Stir and cover with foil. Simmer for 7 minutes.
- Add pork chops into the skillet (if the liquid is reduced, add a splash or two more of the chicken stock). Simmer for another 5-6 minutes, or until the pork has reached 145 degrees internal temperature.
- Remove the pork and cover. Reduce the heat to low. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and stir until its melted and incorporated into the couscous. Stir in the cream, parmesan and arugula. Salt to taste.
- Serve the pork chops and couscous together and warm.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own.