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Pat’s Pantry: Family dinner night

By Pat Mills

Family or friend coming for dinner tonight?  A good home-cooked meal served with love brings out the best in all of us. – Pat

Basil tomato pork chops

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
8 pork chops
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 teaspoon basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
1 medium green pepper, sliced into rings

In a Dutch oven melt butter until sizzling; stir in garlic. Add 4 pork chops; brown on both sides. Remove from pan; repeat with remaining pork chops. Return all pork chops to pan. Stir in remaining ingredients except water, cornstarch, onion and green pepper. Cover, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pork chops are fork tender (about 50 minutes). Remove pork chops; keep warm. In a small bowl, stir together water and cornstarch. Stir cornstarch mixture into hot cooking liquids in Dutch oven; add onion and green pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and vegetables are crisply tender (5 to 6 minutes). Serve sauce over pork chops.

Bacon crackle corn bake

6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
½ cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 (16 oz each) package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In skillet cook bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until partially cooked. Add onion; continue cooking until bacon is browned. Drain off fat except 1 tablespoon. Set bacon and onion aside. Stir flour, salt, pepper and garlic into reserved 1 tablespoon fat. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Stir in sour cream, corn, and 1/3 of bacon and onion mixture. Pour into 1-1/2 quart casserole; sprinkle with remaining bacon and onion mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley and chives.

Chocolate mint silk pie

1-1/2 crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
Filling;
1 cup sugar
¾ cup butter or margarine, softened
3 (1 oz each) squares of semi-sweet chocolate, melted, cooled
½ teaspoon of peppermint extract
3 eggs
Sweetened whipped cream

In medium bowl stir together crust ingredients. Press on bottom and sides of 9-in pie plate. Refrigerate 10 minutes. In small mixer bowl combine sugar and 3/4 cup butter. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes). Add chocolate and peppermint extract; continue beating until well mixed. Add eggs; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Spoon into prepared crust. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or until set. If desired, garnish with sweetened whipped cream.

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