So – what’s the Russian word for “WOW! That’s really good?!?” Well, according to Babel Fish, it would be I’ll take their word for it!

I guess you’ll have to take my word for it, too – until you make it yourself, that is! This was one yummy dinner!

Back to perusing Please to the Table, and since I had the pork out, I thought I’d look for something new and different. I just happened to have all of the other ingredients in the house, so… it was one of those “meant to be” dinners!

Speaking of pork… I’ve been buying whole loins lately and cutting them into chops m’self. First, they’re a hellava lot less expensive than buying chops, but I can also cut them the way I want them. It makes a big difference when making stuffed pork chops or breaded pork cutlets! It’s great to have that versatility. But I digress… (how unusual!!)

It’s an extremely easy recipe to prepare, and Kasha is one of my more favorite grains, so… away we go. I think next time I make it I may add some chopped apple or pear to the kasha. It is really, really good the way it is, but I like diced fruit in grains, too. Just another variation on a theme.

The recipe as written is a bit wordy, but I’m copying it the way it’s printed, not the way I would write it. (I tend to assume people know to boil a cup of something in a small saucepan…)

Here goes…

  • 4 shoulder pork chops, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups Beef Stock (see Index) or canned broth
  • 1 ounce imported dried mushrooms, preferably porcini, well rinsed
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
  • 1 cup whole kasha (buckwheat)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

1) Rub the pork chops with paprika and salt and set aside.

2) Bring 1 cup of the stock to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove from the heat, add the mushrooms, and soak for 1 hour. Remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid, pat dry with paper towels, and set aside. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter and (you guessed it!) set aside.

3) In an heatproof casserole large enough to accommodate the pork chops in one layer, cook the bacon until it renders its fat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the casserole and – are you ready?!? – set aside.

4) Brown the pork chops well on both sides in the bacon drippings, about 15 minutes total. Drain on paper towels.

5) Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole. Sauté the onion in the remaining fat over medium heat until softened and colored, 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms, kasha, and caraway seeds and saute, stirring, for 5 minutes more.

6) Preheat oven to 325F.

7) Combine the reserved mushroom soaking liquid with the remaining stock.

8) Season the kasha mixture with salt and stir in the reserved bacon pieces. Add the liquid and bring to a boil. Arrange the pork chops on top of the kasha and bake, uncovered, until the chops are tender and the kasha has absorbed all the liquid, about 25 minutes. Stir the sour creams into the kasha and serve immediately.

Okay… so I made a bit of fun with the directions. It really was a great dish and I’m sure to make it (or at least a reasonable facsimile) in the future.

And now…

Victor’s in the kitchen baking a cake for dessert.

Life is good!