With over 100 company-owned and franchised restaurants throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States, RARE Hospitality International Inc. has a fast-growing presence in the steakhouse segment of the dining industry. This relative newcomer to the market--at scarcely 15 years in business, compared to such 1960s-era chains as Ponderosa and Bonanza--RARE's irreverent style of "cowboy cuisine" shook up the segment. By 1996, the company's core chain of LongHorn Steakhouses numbered 81 units. Following its initial public offering in 1992, the company acquired the Bugaboo Creek Steak House chain and its smaller The Capital Grille group of pricey eateries. Founder George W. McKerrow, Jr. continued to serve the company as chairman through the mid-1990s.




Baked Pork Chops

Lone Star Steakhouse Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

4 boneless pork loin chops, 3/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fajita seasoning
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fajita seasoning
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 pounds potatoes (about 3 large), sliced
nonstick cooking spray

Combine 2 tablespoons flour and 1 teaspoon fajita seasoning in shallow dish. Coat chops on both sides with flour mixture. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook chops in hot oil in large skillet until lightly brown, turning once. Remove chops.

For sauce, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeno chile and garlic; cook until tender. Combine 3 tablespoons flour, 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning and paprika in small bowl. Stir flour mixture into vegetable mixture in saucepan. Add milk to vegetable mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Coat 7x11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place half of the potatoes in baking dish. Top with half of the sauce. Repeat layers. Top with pork chops. Cover baking dish with foil. Place baking dish on baking sheet. Bake 1 hour. Remove foil. Bake just until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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