Monday, November 14, 2011


Emergency Church Casserole

It was about 9 PM on Saturday evening when my husband nonchalantly said, 'Remember what tomorrow is?'
Hmmmm. I dredged my little brain for the answer and all of the sudden remembered that we were having a pot luck dinner at church, after Sunday School.

I was not in the mood to do ANYthing at that time, but after getting 3 nice, thick pork loin cuts out of the freezer, I poured some balsamic vinegar and some minced garlic into the Ziploc baggies they were in, stuck them in the refrigerator, and stopped worrying about what tomorrow would bring. I knew I had a good head start, and would come up with something eventually.

So morning arrived and I decided to throw together the following:


     3 thick-cut pork loin pieces
     4 cloves garlic, chopped
     6 T. balsamic vinegar
     Combine meat, garlic, and vinegar in a Ziploc bag and marinate overnight in the refrig.

In the morning:

Cook enough white rice to have 3 cups of cooked rice for this casserole.  I usually use 2 c. of rice and 4 c. of water, then the cooked rice I don't use gets put into the refrigerator to use later in the week.
Cut the pork loin pieces into very thin strips
With a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a skillet, saute the pork loin strips until nice and browned. You can get started on a med high heat, but you'll have to turn it down to med or med-low to slowly brown it. Stir occasionally to get all sides browned. (Browned is just so much nicer, making it a bit crispy.)

While sauteeing the pork, use another skillet and a couple Tablespoons EVOO to stir-fry the following:
     1/2 stalk (The stalk is the whole thing; a rib is one of the pieces) celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
     1 large carrot, pared and diced
     1 large onion, peeled and chopped

When the vegetables are translucent and tender and the pork is browned, combine the cooked rice, vegetables, and pork into a large bowl. Stir thoroughly.

Stir in some Sea Salt, Chinese 5 Spice Powder, and Cayenne to taste.
I used about 1/2-1t. Chinese 5 Spice Powder, 1/2 t. salt, and about 1/2 t. Cayenne.

Pour into casserole dish that's been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake in 350 degree oven for about a half hour. 
If you don't want any of the rice crispy, then cover the casserole before baking.

If you're in a rush, you don't actually need to bake it at all. At this point, everything in it is cooked anyway.

You'll be surprised at how good this is!

The best part? It was easy, fast, and didn't contain any canned soups which have so many scary ingredients in them!
Be sure to enter my 5-bar Handcrafted Soap'n'Such Giveaway, running only this week. Hurry! Ends Friday evening.



laurie said...

This sounds like a good potluck recipe or any night recipe...easy to put together!

Marti said...

Yummy quick recipe. I'll have to try marinading in the baggie in the frig. Time saver.

Unknown said...

YUM! I've got the pork all cut up and ready to go on my blog today! Great minds......;-)

Joyce said...

Forgetting is something I'd do these days. Where did my memory go??? Your casserole sounds good!

Rachel said...

That looks so much better than the Lean Cuisine I just had for lunch! Yum!!


Amy said...

What a great dish to bring to a pot luck! That's simply easy to prepare and delicious flavor combination!

Yenta Mary said...

Good save, Judy!!! It looks so good! Quick, easy, nutritious ... and until you confessed here, no one would have known you'd rushed through it ... :)

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

Sounds delicious, Judy! You pulled that one off real well! Lol!

Denise said...

Yummy, thanks for sharing.

Carla from The River said...

Yummy...I love rice!

Candace said...

You are brilliant, Judy! This casserole looks fantastic.

PinayinTexas said...

This sounds perfect for a rice loving Filipino like me! :)

Tiffanee said...

Oh you had me with the picture. Then I read on..oh so delicious!! I cannot wait to make this dish. Thanks!!

Under Her Wings said...

Yum! If the church folks ever stop bringing food because of a baby being born around here, maybe I'll try that. We love casseroles that don't take a lot of meat! Cost productive! Thanks for a new pork recipe.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness.. this looks and sounds so good.. and simple! You know I'm all for that!!

J_on_tour said...

Great stuff, I've filed and saved this to look at again ... as I've got a bit lazy recently with the canned soups !!
I had a visual delight in more ways than one in September when I was in Whitby with South & West Yorkshire friends. I had a great time with the camera (will post in the early New Year sometime) but also at the local church when 7 of us were invited as guests of honour for the after service once a month lunch. It's a top idea to fellowship in this way.


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