At 7 this morning, I decided to make something in the crock pot. It all began so innocently.. me, my chewy coffee (oops), a frantically happy toddler, and Pinterest. It is an acquired skill to pin whilst parenting. I claim this right, as my husband claims his parenting to be “babysitting” when I’m not around. Yes, go give him hell for that. >:)
I let Z choose between chicken and pork chops, and his little voice trying to say pork chops won.
I found this recipe on Pinterest from the Living, Laughing, and Loving blog. Looked simple enough…
My dear friend Max called this post gibberish (yes, it is), so here’s the fast version:
Stick the meat, yogurt, ranch powder, and water in the crock pot for a few hours on high. Then, add an onion (if you like) and the potatoes and consider using the low setting. If you’ll be gone all day, use low from the start. Once the potatoes are cooked, remove them and mash however you like to mash. Reserve some drippings for gravy if you like. I stored the mashed potatoes in the crock pot on the “keep warm” setting for about 2 hours and it was all fine.
My only problem was that I had no cream of chicken soup. Hey, I’m an experienced pinner, here. I knew exactly what to do!
Greek yogurt! Yes!
I dumped what looked to be about a CoC can’s worth in with the ranch seasoning and a small juice glass full of water (8 oz? Who knows?).
Within 30 minutes, I had curdling. Lots of it. Meh. No biggie. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I can somehow make this work. I set about combing the internet for how to deal with this problem. Google! No, my recipe doesn’t have curry… no, I’m not actually making my own yogurt… and.. OH. Nice. Turns out that for many, it’s a Pinstrosity.
Yet undeterred, I read all the comments, continued searching Pinterest, and came upon this marvelous idea. I do believe a coworker actually pinned it. Timing is a great thing.
So this is how I came to make Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes. Let’s call it Nom.
Recipe as follows (and I’m sorry.. I learned from a great friend long ago that measuring things is less adventurous):
You will need:
- Chicken or pork chops. Let your toddler decide. If you don’t have a toddler, you get grilled cheese and Campbell’s instead.
- Powdered ranch seasoning. I used Hidden Valley.
- A small juice glass full of water
- Several dollops of plain Greek yogurt. About the amount that would fit in the can of Cream of Chicken soup. Ahem.
- A yellow onion, diced.
- As much cheese as you like, if you do, for your potatoes. I used something like this.
- Oh, potatoes. As many as you want. For this, I used red and I’m too lazy to peel them. Always.
- Anything you normally use to make mashed potatoes (milk, butter, etc).
- Flour or corn starch for the drippings if you want to make gravy. I also thinly sliced mushrooms and cooked them in the gravy.
So what will happen is that you’ll add the first three ingredients, wait until it smells incredible, and then notice you’re making what appears to be curdled milk and pork. Yum. You get to skip the panicked internet search and go straight to dicing up your onion. (I always put onion in my mashed potatoes. If you don’t, then don’t.)
Place the onion in the slow cooker, poke everything a bit because it’s fun, then go entertain your toddler for a few hours. This was all done on high. For those of you who need more info.. I would say it was on high for about 3-4 hours.
A few hours before you’re dying of starvation from all the toddler chasing, cut up the potatoes and dump them into the pot, prodding everything once more because this is one of the few times you’re allowed to open the top, according to Crock Pot Law. Reduce to low if you can, but really it won’t hurt anything if you can’t.
Stare at it as much as you can. It does help.
After you’ve taken a nice bubble bath, then (yes, then) worked out in your sweltering sun room gym for 30 minutes, go mash those suckers up. Add all the great stuff you know your significant other hates but really does LOVE because they’re not even aware it’s all in there like butter, sour cream/more greek yogurt, more ranch seasoning or even ranch dressing, and of course.. cheese. Tons of it.
So now you have some pork chops chillin’ in some flavored water and mashed potatoes. But the problem is that your husband isn’t home yet, the kid is napping, and you’re bored out of your skull. Aside from writing an excessively lengthy recipe about pork chops, the next thing you’ll do is siphon off most of the juice for later (GRAVY!), then scootch (yes, a serious cooking term) the chops and what juice they have left to one side. Add the potatoes, change to “keep warm,” and lick the air until your dinner partner returns home.
While you wait, you can write a ridiculous blog post about how you screwed up dinner but saved it at the last minute. Or spent 6 hours cooking. Whatever.