Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Same Old Situation...

Monday night, I used up the last of a bulk pack of pork chops. I think it was 10 of them for $10, and I split them into pairs and froze them. These last two were over an inch thick, and I only had time to pan-sear them, so I was getting nervous that they were way too crunchy on the outside while waiting to get the centers cooked. They ended up being beautifully done and juicy! We hadn't had risotto in a while, and I try to force green beans on Dave at least once a month. He'll eat them, he just doesn't really like them.

Pan-Seared Pork Chops in Sweet Balsamic Glaze
Tomato-Red Onion Risotto
and Green Beans

2 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tbsp Butter
1/2 Red Onion, diced
1 medium Tomato, cored and diced
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups Chicken broth (I only use Swanson - 100% fat free, Low Sodium, No MSG)

Heat the olive oil and butter in a small saucepan until the butter melts. Add the onion and tomato, and stir together quickly. Allow to cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place 1 cup chicken broth in a small pan and heat to simmer. Add rice to the vegetables and stir together, allowing to cook for one minute. Make sure the rice doesn't brown! Stir in one cup of broth and keep at low boil until most broth is absorbed, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, place another 1 cup in small pan to simmer. Add the second cup of broth and stir, again keeping at low boil until most broth is absorbed, stirring occasionally. While this is happening, put last 1 cup broth in small pan to simmer. When ready, stir in final cup of broth. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until most liquid is absorbed. Risotto should be slightly firm, but creamy. Place in serving bowl and allow to stand 1 minute before serving.
Tip: Risotto retains a lot of heat. If it is finished before the rest of the meal, leave it covered in the serving bowl for 5 minutes or so, and it will still be piping hot when served.

2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 pork chops, trimmed

Salt & Pepper
1/4 Red Onion, small dice
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
3 tbsp Brown Sugar

Heat olive oil in frying pan. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. Place pork chops in pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. (Mine took much longer because they were so thick.) Remove and keep warm. Add red onion to pan juices and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Carefully stir in vinegar and sugar, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over pork chops and serve immediately.
Tip: I drizzled some of the balsamic glaze on the green beans, and my husband actually ate more than his usual three pieces!

To make the green beans, trim fresh beans, or buy bagged pre-washed and trimmed beans. Boil water in a large pot. Add beans and cook at boiling for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to keep them a nice bright green. Serve!
Tip: Put the green beans water on to boil first, then start the risotto. Put the beans in to cook when you start the balsamic glaze.

Mmmmm...leftovers for lunch!

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