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Pork Chops with Spicy Rice



Red meat is not something we eat a lot of in our house.  We eat it only very occasionally, and when we do, it is bound to be either a steak or pork chops, with the odd bit of lamb here and there, and we both enjoy a good roast or a stew now and then.  

I adore steak. Todd adores pork chops.  Today I decided to treat him to some tasty chops by way of this deliciously spiced dish, which is not only quick and easy, but cooks all in one pan. No fuss. No muss.  Just the way I like things.



This easy recipe involves browning  seasoned boneless pork loin chops on both sides.  Simple enough.  Once browned, you remove and set aside. Onions and garlic are then cooked in the same pan, taking full advantage of any flavouring from the pork left in the pan, and adding a mix of herbs and seasonings and tomato puree towards the end. 



Raw long grained rice is stirred in to coat and then you add a quantity of chicken stock.  Those chops get nestled back into the mix, and the pan tightly covered. 



This is cooked for a short time until the chops are cooked through, but still tender and moist. Loin is such a lean cut of pork, that overcooking them will definitely toughen them. Take them out and set them aside to rest while you finish cooking the rice. You may find that you need additional stock to make sure that the rice is cooked through.  Just keep testing it and if you think it is going dry, add a bit more stock.  I only ever very rarely need to add stock. Better to do it this way than to have soupy watery rice.  You want it nice and dryish like in the photo.


The flavours are really spot on  . . .  onion, garlic . . .  oregano, ground coriander, chili powder, cayenne . . . just spicy enough without it blowing your head off.  I am not overly fond of blow off your head heat. I want to taste my food thank you very much!


The rice cooks to perfection in that flavourful mix . . .  you stir in some chopped dry roasted peanuts at the end and then the chops are sliced . . .


And returned to the top of the rice in a decorative manner . . .  doesn't everyone do that??  I do anyways.  I made liberal use of the fresh herbs in my garden in that beautifully sweet and tangy lime and honey vinaigrette that gets spooned over top of the chops prior to serving. 


I think that lime and honey vinaigrette is the star of this whole dish. All of the elements taste good in their own right, but when you spoon that vinaigrette over top, it just lifts and enhances everything beautifully!


So you get, meaty, spicy, savoury, sweet, tart, garlicky  . . .  all in one dish.  These really are fabulous.  Trust me.


No fuss, no muss, all in one dish  . . . fabulously tasty . . .  I am not sure what more a person could as for???  Serve with a lovely tossed salad on the side and perhaps some crusty bread.  That's all she wrote . . .



*Pork Chops with Spicy Rice*
Serves 4
 
 

Did you know if you slash the fatty edge of your pork chops, they won't curl up when you cook them?  Its true.  This is delicious with fabulously flavoured rice, tender chops, and a lovely coriander lime dressing.  All in one pan. 


For the chops:
4 boneless pork loin chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick
salt and black pepper
1 TBS oil

For the rice:
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 TBS tomato puree (tomato paste)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp mild chili powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
pinch cayenne pepper
315g of long grain rice (1 1/2 cups)
720ml chicken stock (3 cups)
( an additional 240ml/1 cup chicken stock, as needed) 



 
You will also need:
4 TBS coarsely chopped dry roasted peanuts


For the dressing:
2 TBS finely chopped  fresh coriander leaf (Cilantro)
1 TBS finely chopped fresh parsley
1 TBS finely chopped fresh oregano
1 TBS finely chopped fresh chives
2 tsp finely grated lime zest
salt and black pepper to taste
1 TBS liquid honey
3 TBS fresh lime juice
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil 



 
Trim your chops and slash the fat along the edge at 1 inch intervals.  Pat dry and season all over with salt and black pepper.  Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet which has a tight fitting lid.  Once the oil is hot, brown the chops on both sides, until golden brown, 2 1/2 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate.  Add the onion to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute.  Add the oregano, tomato puree, coriander, cayenne and rice.  Cook, stirring to coat the rice all over with the spice mixture.  Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce to a simmer and nestle the chops down into the mix, along with any pan juices accumulated.  Cover tightly and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on medium low heat.  Transfer the chops to a cutting board, tend with foil and keep warm.   Stir the rice to recombine. Cover tightly and continue to cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, until the rice is tender, adding additional chicken stock as needed.  Stir in 3 TBS of the dry roasted peanuts. Taste and adjust seasoning as required. 


To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients until well combined. 
 

Slice the chops diagonally into 1/2 inch slices and transfer them to the top of the rice in a decorative way.  Whisk the dressing again and spoon half of the dressing over the chops.  Sprinkle with the remaining peanuts.  Serve immediately.  Serve any remaining dressing at the table.



I can't believe how fast the weeks are flying by.  A day no sooner starts than it ends.  Already we are at the weekend.  I wonder what I will cook up next??? Stay tuned and Bon Appetit!



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Marie Rayner
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