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Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops with Carrot Orzo
Today, I wanted to share a very easily prepared Pork Chop main course that pairs beautifully with a side that’s appeared here before. Rather than just give you the link, I’ll include the whole recipe on this page to make it easier for you.
Frenched Pork Chops from Trader Joe’s
The Pork Chops are from Saveur’s April 2010 issue which featured the food of Rome. I lived in Rome eons ago but I have no memory of eating a single pork chop. This may have a lot to do with my student budget at the time which very often curtailed my eating anything beyond pasta and a “contorno”, the side dishes of vegetables and irresistible antipasti. We never actually got near the “Primi Piatti” where the meat courses were listed. Since I have an enduring love of all things Pork, that seems like the most logical explanation. My recent discovery of the beautifully Frenched Park Chops at Trader Joe’s were a call to action for this recipe. “Frenching” just means cleaning the bone of gristle and leaving it as a kind of handle on the chop. This of course will allow you to pick it up by the handle and savor every delicious morsel of meat clinging to the bone. The “sweet” in the recipe comes from Honey, the “sour” comes from Balsamic Vinegar. It very easy to accomplish in very little time and it’s very delicious.
As a side dish, this Orzo dish is hard to beat. It really is comparable to a risotto in many ways but far easier to deal with as it doesn’t require your constant presence at the stove. There’s a certain sweetness to the carrots and a creaminess to the Orzo that makes this dish a wonderful counterpoint to the Sweet and Sour glaze on the pork chops. Try it with some quickly sautéed spinach and you’ll have a wonderful dinner. Here are the recipes:
Recipe for “Maiale in Agrodolce” or Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops from Saveur Magazine:
4 10-ounce Frenched Pork Chops
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp. honey 4 tbsp. unsalted butter 1 sprig fresh rosemary, torn into 1″ pieces
1. Put pork chops on a plate; drizzle with oil; season generously with salt and pepper; let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Combine vinegar and honey in a 1-qt. saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup. Stir in butter and rosemary and set aside.
3. Put pork chops on grill and cook, occasionally turning and basting with balsamic mixture, until browned and cooked through, 12–14 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe for Carrot Orzo
6 ounces peeled baby carrots (about 1
1/4 cups; from 16-ounce package)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 8 ounces)
1 ½ cups water
1 ¼ cups low-salt chicken broth
1 large garlic clove, minced
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Place carrots in processor. Using on/off turns, finely chop carrots. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo and carrots; sauté until orzo is golden, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, broth, and garlic; cook uncovered over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Stir in cheese, green onions, and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 4.