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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Creamy Pork Marsala With Mushrooms

The inspiration for today's recipe just sort of materialized out of thin air.

I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner.   As usual, I wanted to try something new.  As long as it had mushrooms in it.

I was wandering around the supermarket, in the meat department, and I happened upon some boneless pork sirloin chops.

I haven't made pork chops in at least ten years.  Or fifteen years.  Nah, probably closer to twenty.  My decision was made.  Pork chops it is!

But how to cook them?  All I could think of was pork Marsala.  So I grabbed a bottle of the lovely supermarket Marsala cooking wine.  It'll have to do.  And a package of baby bella mushrooms.

It's been awhile since I've made anything Marsala.  I'm having a flashback to the early years of my marriage, inviting my mother-in-law and father-in-law over for chicken Marsala. 

I remember my mother-in-law asking me where I got the recipe, and I replied that I didn't have a recipe, I "just cooked it."  She was perplexed that I didn't have any cookbooks, I was baffled that she thought it was weird that I made something without a recipe to follow.

For Christmas that year, she very thoughtfully gave me a lovely cookbook.  It was the biggest, grandest cookbook I had ever seen.  It was about four inches thick, and it must have weighed at least ten pounds.  She obviously bought me the nicest cookbook she could find.

And then one day I opened the cookbook, and the first recipe I saw was for tripe-something-or-other (the urge to gag is suddenly very strong).  I will not go into what tripe is, because I know that my college daughter reads this blog when she is looking for recipes and I don't want to gross her out.  And I know that she is going to google tripe, in which case I am warning you, Caitie, you are about to lose your appetite.  And if you can't help yourself and insist on googling it, do not google the images because you will totally gross yourself out.  Do me a favor and just take a picture of the look on your face, sweetie, because I could use a good laugh.

There were other recipes in the cookbook besides tripe.  There were pigs feet and tongue and brain recipes, too.  I kid you, NOT.

I kept the book for about ten years, and never cooked a single recipe in it.  I felt so bad that my mother-in-law had bought this book and I was going to throw it away.  I remember feeling like I had to justify throwing it away, so I started reading the recipes to Mr. Terrific until he said something like, "That's enough!  Just get rid of it!"

I guess the point of all this rambling is that here I am, 24 years later, still throwing ingredients together without a recipe.

As I was cooking, Sean and Erin both wandered through the kitchen.  Erin:  "What're those?" Me: "Pork chops."  Sean: "Have I ever had those before?" Me:  "I don't think so."

As we were eating, Mr. Terrific said the pork chops were good.   Sean said, "They're good.  You should make them again.  Just don't start cooking meat loaf!"

(For the record, I have never cooked a meat loaf.  He has never tasted meat loaf.)

Today's Playlist
  • "Bella Notte"...........Lou Monte
  • "I Only Have Eyes For You".........Rosemary Clooney
  • "I've Got You Under My Skin"........Frank Sinatra
  • "Mack The Knife"......Kevin Spacey
  • "That's Amore"........Dean Martin
  • "Mambo Italiano".......Alma Cogan
  • "Lazy Mary".....Lou Monte
  • "I've Got The World On A String".....Frank Sinatra
  • "Wonderful World".......Sam Cooke
  • "Feeling Good"......Michael Buble

Creamy Pork Marsala with Mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 6 boneless pork chops
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (any type of mushrooms you like)

Gather your ingredients.  I have flour in this picture, but I didn't use it.  Habit, you know, just in case I need to thicken the sauce.  Didn't need it today.

Slice your mushrooms  Ahhhhhhhhhh, mushrooms. Yum.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.

Add pork chops to the pan.  Lightly season with salt and pepper.  I say lightly because if you are using supermarket cooking wine, there is quite a bit of sodium in the wine.  Go easy on the added salt.  If you are using good Marsala wine, however, feel free to add a bit more salt!

Cook until browned on both sides.  Depending upon the thickness of your pork chops, this should take about four to six minutes per side.

When they are done, transfer the pork chops to a plate and keep warm.

This is what you are left with.  Those brown bits are what it's all about.

Add the wine into the hot pan.  Stir to deglaze the pan, making sure to loosen all of the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Cook until the wine has reduced to about half.

Add the sour cream to the pan.

Whisk to combine.

Reduce heat to low and add mushrooms.

Cook for about five minutes, until the mushrooms have softened and the sauce has thickened.  If you feel that the sauce has not thickened enough, mix 1 tablespoon of flour with 1/4 cup of water and whisk into the sauce.

Return the pork chops to the pan.

Flip the pork chops to coat with the sauce, and simmer for a few minutes until heated through.

Serve, spooning lots of sauce and mushrooms over the pork chops.



  1. This was so delicious! I just should have purchased thinner pork chops. They don't cook long in this recipe, and that's nice too because it's an easy meal to make, but the pork chops I had were too thick and ended up tough trying to get them 'done'; but I love the flavor! We had it over noodles.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Janice! I probably should have specified the thickness in my instructions. Thick pork chops are so tempting! However, this recipe works best with boneless pork chops that range from 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. I haven't tested this yet, but off the top of my head I'm thinking that if you have 1-inch thick pork chops, it might be best to still sear/cook them for the allotted time on medium heat, and then maybe when you put them back into the sauce let them simmer until cooked through. I think that allowing them to finish cooking in the sauce, on a lower heat, might prevent them from drying out. I hope so, anyway! Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment!


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