Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pork Paranoia

Don't let the picture fool you. This dish was not quite as delicious as it looks. It's not the fault of the recipe, and it's certainly not the source. America's Test Kitchen rarely gets it wrong, and when one of their dishes comes out less-than-perfect I have to assume it was somehow my fault. And given my main ingredient, I'm definitely inclined to think that I'm the one who screwed up.

See, I have a rocky relationship with pork. In fact, it may be the reason why Bill is continually amazed by my kitchen successes today. One of the first meals I ever made for him was pork chops and it did not go well. They were flavorless, dry, and all-around gross. Clearly, they did not have the effect of Engagement Chicken ... or Chicken a la King! And since then, they've been pretty hit or miss for me.

I've had a handful of successful pork dishes, like my favorite barbecued pork, and a scrumptious roast I made several months ago. But I frequently encounter the same speed bump in pulling it off perfectly every time ... too often, my pork is over-cooked and dry. And this most likely occurs because I'm terrified of still-pink pork hitting my dinner toble!

Unfortunately, I had another dry debacle with this dish the other night. In fact, I fear I pulled off something the judges on Chopped might declare "inedible." At least the rice was a huge success! I'll just need to work on my under-cooked pork paranoia.

Skillet Pork Chops and Rice
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons parsley
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup long grain white rice
4 boneless pork chops
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Combine 2 tablespoons butter and parsley in a small bowl and set aside. Microwave 1 cup broth and rice in covered bowl until liquid is absorbed, 6 to 8 minutes.

Pat pork chops dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chops, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and tent loosely with foil. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in parcooked rice and remaining 1 1/4 cups broth and bring to a boil. Return pork chops and any accumulated juices to skillet and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until pork registers 145 degrees and rice is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve pork with reserved parsley butter.

1 comment:

  1. As a talented chef, your standards are far higher than those of the average sit down to the table eater (like myself) Because of that, I'm inclined to say you most likely judged your dish too harshly, but striving for excellence, whether it be in the kitchen or elsewhere, is obviously never a bad thing! So, I'll let you lament over a so-called subpar pork dish, but slide the leftovers this way, will ya? :)