Monday, March 29, 2010

That's a good pig! (pork)

It's a bit late so this post may be a bit incoherent or whatever but I feel bad that I haven't really posted much of anything in a good while so I figured I could sacrifice precious sleep time to post this. Life has a way of getting in the way of things that I'd rather be doing, like blogging and cooking and baking and stuff, but I can't complain too much. My life has some suckage at times but I am blessed.

You're probably wondering what this post will be about, well it's gonna be about pork! Oink, oink, snort, snort. Unfortunately, it's not about bacon but we will get there eventually. I promise.

This recipe is pretty easy. Simple, delicious, easy, and healthy. I had some pork chops in my fridge that had been giving me a guilt trip and was just nagging me to make something good and not the usual way I make pork chops. I also got recently introduced to Quinoa which is a yummy, whole-grain that is a lot like my beloved rice only better for you. My plan was: cook pork and have quinoa as a side and make it healthy and delicious! Easy enough. After a little bit of internet research and a couple of polls as to what pork recipe to follow I picked Rosemary Pork Chop Skillet with Quinoa. Let me just say that making this recipe with all the fresh herbs made my house smell utterly delectable. If I could eat the air whilst I was cooking this I probably would have. I really do love the smell of fresh herbs. If you've never cooked with it before well this recipe is the perfect time to start (and I would never lie to you!) I found the recipe here. I always rinse the meat and pat it dry with a paper towel or clean dish towel before I season it. I rubbed it with sea salt and pepper and I recommend that if time permits and you can season the pork and just let it sit for at least an hour or so in the fridge to marinate some. Here's the recipe:

Rosemary Pork Chop Skillet


* 1 pound boneless pork sirloin chops, cut 1/2 inch thick (I had 4 decent size 1/2" thick pork chops)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt (The S&P doesn't have to be exact, eyeball it to suit your taste, I did!)
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cups peeled and cubed (1 inch) winter squash, such as butternut, banana, spaghetti, and/or acorn squash (I used butternut squash and I used a little over 2 cups cuz I love em!)
* 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
* 2 teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary (again doesn't have to be exact)
* 1/4 cup chicken broth (I doubled the broth and orange juice because I wanted to be able to drizzle some in my quinoa)
* 1/4 cup orange juice (note above)
* 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1 teaspoon snipped fresh sage


1. Trim fat from pork. Sprinkle chops with the salt and pepper. In a 12-inch skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown chops about 4 minutes, turning once. Combine squash, onion, and rosemary; spoon squash mixture over chops. Pour broth and orange juice over squash mixture and chops. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

2. Add zucchini and sage. Cook, covered, about 5 minutes more or until chops are done (160 degrees F). Using a slotted spoon, transfer chops and vegetables to a serving platter. Cover; keep warm.

3. Bring reserved juices in skillet to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Spoon over chops and vegetables.

** I didn't have a big enough skillet to do this all in so what I did is cook the pork chops in my grilling skillet then transferred it over to a heated pan and finished cooking it in there.

As for the quinoa. You can purchase this at your local supermarket (ie. Publix) or if you can't find it there they will have it at a health food store. Cook it according to package directions and when its done add about 1 Tbsp. of chopped basil per 1 cup of uncooked quinoa. The basil is not mandatory but it just gives it that extra notch of goodness.

To serve this dish, I placed some quinoa on a plate then topped it with the pork chop, drizzled with some of the broth and surrounded it by beautiful, colorful, mouth-watering vegetables. Enjoy! (I sure did!)