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updated: 10/6/2011 4:39 PM

Smoked pork chops for dinner

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  • Brown and serve pork chops with a simple bright pasta and vegetable equals dinner in less than 20 minutes.

      Brown and serve pork chops with a simple bright pasta and vegetable equals dinner in less than 20 minutes.
    Alicia Ross/Desperation Dinners


Deja vu in the grocery store: That's just what it felt like last week.

Walking through my local supermarket, I glanced down in the meat case and spied an old reliable just begging to be picked up -- smoked pork chops.

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I haven't cooked with smoked pork chops in at least five years, and I don't know why. They're quick and easy. They're tender and flavorful.

And as far as a lean meat goes, smoked pork chops get high scores there, too -- only 130 calories and less than 5 grams of fat per serving. (However, the sodium is 32 percent of your daily recommended amount, so if you are on a sodium-restricted diet, you should probably avoid them.)

Immediately I thought of my Lemon-Butter Pasta and Asparagus and how amazing this would be with smoked pork chops. (You can serve the pasta with chicken or sauteed fish, too.)

But considering how quick both are, plus the flavor combination of a smoky chop and the pasta's bright lemon-butter sauce, it's a pairing that was meant to be.

Who knew a quick jaunt through the grocery could inspire such an amazing dinner?

Suggested menu: Smoked Pork Chops With Lemon-Butter Pasta and Asparagus with sliced fresh tomatoes and french baguette.

• Beverly Hills and Alicia Ross are co-authors of "Desperation Dinners!" Write them at Desperation Dinners, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or More at the Desperation Dinners website,

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