Easy Pork ‘n’ Scalloped Potatoes Bake

EASY PORK ‘N' SCALLOPED POTATOES BAKE – 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 to 2½ pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices, or 4 to 6 center-cut pork chops, each cut about ½-inch thick, bone-in or boneless as desired   
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon cooking oil (optional)
  • 1 (5-ounce) package scalloped potatoes
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup or reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 small sweet onion (Vidalia or other sweet variety), peeled and cut into a julienne (cut vertically into long thin strips) (optional)
  • 1 small sweet red or yellow or green pepper, or a combination, cored, seeds removed, and cut into a julienne (cut vertically into long thin strips (optional)
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced fresh mushrooms (see note) or 1(4 to 6-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 to 2  tablespoon(s)  finely snipped fresh thyme leaves (no stems) or 1 to 2 teaspoon(s) dried thyme (optional)
  • Salt and/or seasoned salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
  • About 1 cup seasoned cornbread or herbed stuffing mix (optional)
  • Paprika as desired for garnish

In a medium heavy skillet lightly coated with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray, brown pork slices or chops, both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side, in hot oil, if desired, over moderate heat; drain off drippings and set pork aside.  In a medium bowl, combine boiling water and butter; add potatoes, sauce packet, and thyme, mixing gently but well. Add salt and/or seasoned salt and pepper to taste.  Arrange a layer of potatoes and sauce; top with half of the onion, sweet pepper(s), and mushrooms.  Arrange pork over vegetables.  Top with remaining onion, pepper(s), and mushrooms.  Spread remaining potato mixture over vegetables.  Bake, loosely covered with aluminum foil, in a preheated moderate oven (375 degrees F.) for 45 minutes.  Uncover and evenly sprinkle stuffing mix over casserole; continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes or until stuffing mix is lightly browned, pork fork tender, and casserole is bubbly hot. Lightly sprinkle top of casserole with paprika, if desired, for garnish.

Note: May “sweat” mushrooms in a small heavy skillet with a few drops of water, loosely covered with aluminum foil, over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, if desired; drain thoroughly.

Variations: Omit cream of mushroom soup; use 1 undiluted (10 3/4-ounce) can golden mushroom or reduced-fat golden mushroom soup.

Omit thyme; add 1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh oregano or rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian herbs.

Omit scalloped potatoes mix; peel and thinly slice 4 medium to large red-skinned potatoes.  Use fresh potatoes in place of mix.  Use 2 undiluted (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of mushroom or golden mushroom soup plus 1cup milk and 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Add  1 tablespoon minced parsley, ½ to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and pepper to taste.  Follow directions as previously given.                   

Add 4 to 5 drops hot pepper sauce or several grains cayenne pepper to potato mixture. Liberally sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese over stuffing mix during last 5  minutes of baking.

Add 1/4 cup chopped or snipped sun-dried tomatoes to potato mixture.

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