Eureka! I've finally come up with a passable faux/fake pork chop recipe (I have conferred upon them the name of "Fork Chops"). Truth be told, I was never really a fan of pork chops in my omni days. My mom used to make the quite often when I was growing up. As best I recall, she'd season them up simply with salt, pepper and dried thyme, then broil them in the toaster oven. There are a couple of fake pork chop recipes floating about the intertubes. However, no offense to any of their fine creators, they just don't do it for me. In most cases, it's because they are way too heavy on the gluten for my taste.
There's something alluring about the concept of a very neutral "meat" that's not quite chicken-y but not as rich and umami as a mock beef. These chops pair really nicely with lots of different flavor combinations, as real pork does for meat-eaters. I'm really not ready to disclose their secrets just yet, but I will share with you the yummy sauce slathered all over the top to yield Southern-style Smothered Fork Chops.
Alongside, I served some easy roasted green beans (I used frozen, and they work just fine) and my newfangled vegan "Easy Mac." I made the mac and cheese beforehand and let it chill in the refrigerator, so it doesn't look as gooey and cheesy here, but it was still a nice accompaniment.
Smothered Fork Chop Gravy:
4 Fork Chops or seitan cutlets
1 T. canola oil
1 T. vegan margarine
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c. no-chicken bouillon or vegetable stock
½ tsp. browning sauce
½ c. plain, unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp. lemon juice
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chops or seitan cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides, then sear in the hot oil until browned and crispy on both sides. Remove to a plate and wipe out the skillet, if needed. Melt the margarine in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until lightly browned, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until caramelized - about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Return the heat to medium-high, stir in the flour, and cook, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the bouillon/stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until thickened, then whisk in the almond milk and lemon juice. Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste, and spoon over the seared chops.