My great grandmother was a great cook. She made so many delicious recipes and her pork chops were just one of them. Born in 1908 and named Italia because of her father’s pride in his home country, she arrived in the United States in 1920. When she went to school, the teacher asked her name. When she told the teacher it was Italia, the teacher responded that she knew where she was from and wanted to know her name. A little girl sitting behind her told her to say, “Lena,” and from then on my great grandmother was known as Lena. Lena died in 2005 and the old age of 96.
I followed the family recipe exactly as it was written except for a few minor things. I had a terrible time slicing the apples, so I used slices instead of ring. The yellow rice I used was from Kauffman’s Fruit Farms and is a jasmine rice seasoned with saffron and turmeric. The raisins are also from Kauffman’s. The pork chops are from Anschuetz Farm. They do not even come close to the store bought chops I have had in the past. They are tender and cut like butter. Try them and you will not be disappointed.
Nona’s Pork Chops make an entire meal themselves, so you do not have to worry about serving anything else with them. Well, you could have a salad. Just be sure not to leave any leftovers or you will risk offending Nona.
Nona’s Pork Chops
- 1-1 ½ lbs pork chops
- 4 Tbsp oil
- 6 oz yellow rice
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- ¼ cup celery, chopped
- ¼ cup raisins
- 2 ½ cups boiling water
- 6 apple rings (or one small apple, sliced)
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and brown them in 2 Tbsp oil over medium high heat. Set aside.
- Saute the rice, onion and celery in the remaining oil for 5 minutes. Add the raisins and stir. Add the boiling water and stir.
- Pour into a baking dish and place the pork chops on top. Cover and bake 40-45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top with the apples, melted butter, and nutmeg. Recover and bake an additional 15 minutes.