Judi Leaming: Trying to decide what's for dinner?

Judi Leaming

Now that we’re back from our winter in the sunny South, I am enjoying the opportunity to work in a “real” kitchen.

While we were away, I spent many hours on the computer collecting recipes that sounded too good to be passed by. I confess that daughter Jennifer has gotten me hooked on Pinterest, and the recipes that abound there almost always feature enticing pictures that lure you into thinking, “I’ve got to make that.” So I click and file, and then I go back to search for even more blog spots about recipes.

Just this week, I found myself rushing to the computer to send off the recipe below for Crock-Pot Chicken Parmesan to our daughters almost before I had rinsed the plates and put away the leftovers. Yes — this was so good that I wanted to instantly spread the word that I’d found a new and easy-to-prepare dinner entree.

And, of course, this was the same recipe that I had seen earlier on Pinterest. I use Perdue Perfect Portion boneless chicken breasts because they are a more reasonable (translate that to mean smaller and more uniform) size than you often see. I also highly recommend using Bertolli Tomato and Basil sauce for this recipe.

In order to prove that I really can prepare a meal without my beloved Crock-Pot, this column also offers you a recipe for Marinated Baked Pork Chops that stay moist and flavorful as they bake. I used thick, boneless pork chops, but I suspect that thick bone-in chops would be even tastier.

A tilapia recipe rounds out this column. This comes from allrecipes.com. The original recipe calls for Cajun seasoning, but I opted to use Old Bay. Either way, you’ll have a tasty main dish.

Crock-Pot Chicken Parmesan

5- or 6-quart Crock-Pot

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 egg

1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves|

8 ounces shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 (24-ounce) jar Bertolli Tomato and Basil marinara sauce

Spread the olive oil evenly onto the bottom of your crock insert. Beat the egg with a fork in a bowl. Mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan cheese and pepper together in another bowl. Dip each chicken breast into the egg to coat then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides. Place in a single layer on top of the olive oil in the crock. Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the chicken breasts then top evenly with the Bertolli sauce. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Serve over hot, cooked noodles. Serves four generously.

-- Pinterest

Marinated Baked Pork Chops

2 tablespoons soy sauce

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons brown sugar

4 tablespoons ketchup

4 to 6 thick pork chops

Lightly grease a baking dish large enough to hold the pork chops. In a small bowl thoroughly blend soy sauce, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar and ketchup. Divide mixture in half. Place pork chops and half of the prepared sauce in a re-sealable plastic bag; seal and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place marinated pork chops in the prepared baking dish and discard any sauce in the re-sealable bag. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, turn chops over and spread with the remaining sauce. Recover with foil and continue baking for 25 minutes more. Remove foil and broil for 3 minutes.

-- Source: www.sweetpeaskitchen.com

Hudson’s Baked Tilapia with Dill Sauce

4 (4-ounce) tilapia fillets

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon Cajun or Old Bay seasoning

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons fresh chopped dill

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish large enough to hold the tilapia fillets. Season fillets with salt, pepper and seasoning on both sides. Arrange fillets in a single layer in the dish. Place a layer of lemon slices over the fish fillets, covering as much of the surfaces as possible. Bake uncovered for 15 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven until fish flakes easily with a fork. While the fish is baking mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice and dill in a small bowl. Serve with the baked tilapia. Serves four.

-- Source: www.allrecipes.com