The Week is Half Over Let's Celebrate!

Everyday Divas Celebrations
with Mimi and Sue
What to Eat Wednesdays

First  -- Get the Long Grain and Wild Rice Started

  • 1 cup long grain and wild rice
Melt 1 tbsp butter in a sauce pan.  Add the wild rice and stir for minute or so until you smell the fragrance of the rice releasing​.
  • 2 cups chicken stock
Add to the rice, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer.  It will take about 45 minutes for the rice to cook.  Just keep an eye on the heat so that the liquid does not boil off too rapidly.
Second -- Get the salad ready

  • 1  5 oz box baby greens
Rinse and spin thoroughly dry (even if the box says they were already cleaned)
  • 2 tbsps white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 healthy pinch of kosher salt
Place in a tightly sealed container, vigorously shake and set aside until you are ready to dress the greens.​

I say just use Uncle Ben's long grain and wild rice or some other pre-seasoned product.  They are fool proof, very tasty and take much less time than Mimi's approach.  And if you want a little more intense flavor you can sauté the rice in a little butter first like Mimi's instructions.

There are different views on what the internal temperature of pork should be.  I have recently seen that 145 degrees with a slightly pink center is fine.  I can't wrap my head around pink pork so, I'm sticking with the 160 degrees.

By the way Mimi -- isn't this pork prepared very similarly to the way I prepare loin lamb chops?

I cook pork to 150 degrees and then allow it to sit for 10 minutes.  It's fine, I don't know what Mimi is worried about.

Fourth -- Get the pork chops started

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

  • 2 tbsps finely chopped rosemary
Strip the needles from the stems and finely chop.  
  • 2  bone in center cut pork chops
Rinse, pat dry and sprinkle both sides with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and a little granulated garlic.  Sprinkle both sides with chopped rosemary and gently press into the chops.
  • 2 -3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat in a sauté pan over medium high heat.  When slightly shimmery, place pork chops in pan.  Do not touch the chops for at least 3 minutes.  You must allow a cr​ust to form on the chop before turning it over.  Turn the chops over for three minutes on the other side.  Remove from the pan, place on a foil lined baking pan and place in the preheated oven to finish.  Depending upon how thick the chops are it could take anywere from 9 - 14 minutes (for a total cooking time of 15-20 minutes).  The internal temperature of the chops should be 160 degrees.  

Third -- Get the apple and fennel ready

  • 1  bulb fennel
Cut off the fronds and bottom of the fennel.  Very thinly slice lengthwise and set aside
  • 1 crisp macintosh or macoun apple
Peel, core, cut into 8 sections and squeeze a little lemon juice on the apple to prevent browning.
Fifth -- Sauté the apple and fennel
Melt 1 tbsp butter in the sauté pan you used for the pork.  Add the fennel and 3 tbsp pernod.  Sauté until crisp tender.  Add the apple slices, toss around a bit and saute for five minutes.  Add 1/4 cup chicken stock to keep the fruit and vegetables from getting too brown.  At the very end add the raisins and toss until heated.  By the time this is finished the rice and the pork chops should be ready. 

I'm not sure this is an easy What to Eat Wednesday dinner.  There's a lot of coordination and prep going on here.  I'd do the chops and eliminate the apple and fennel.  Just buy your favorite applesauce -- the perfect complement to pork chops -- and serve that.

OK.  The key is to have rice that is on the salty, savory end of the spectrum to balance the sweet and tangy apples.  

Last -- Serve your Dinner
Toss the baby greens with the vinaigrette and put on salad plates.  Spoon the wild rice onto the dinner plates, place one pork chop on top, spoon the apple and fennel mixture on top and ENJOY!

Yes!  I wanted to try it with the apples and fennel

I remove the core and the fibrous outside layer of the fennel bulb and discard it before slicing and sautéing.