Friday, September 19, 2008

Pork Chops with Orange & Fennel

Mr Wonderful likes fennel, but I haaaaaate black licorice, so I was a little leery of cooking with it. I figured if I mixed in some orange juice, and cooked the fennel down a bit, it wouldn't be so strong. It ended up being delicious, with just a little hint of heat from some cayenne pepper. Plus it gave me a chance to put my new All Clad pan through its paces!

Pork Chops with Orange & Fennel
2 Tbsp EVOO
2 boneless pork rib chops
1 small onion, cut in half and then sliced radially to make thin wedges
1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
juice and zest from one orange
1/2 c chicken stock
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the pork chops with salt & pepper, and when the oil is hot, add them to the pan, and then don't move them for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, flip the chops over and brown the other side for another 3 minutes. Remove the chops to a plate and cover with foil.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, and then throw in the onions and fennel. Let them cook for about 5-6 minutes, until they get soft and begin to caramelize. Add in cider vinegar and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add in the chicken stock, orange juice and orange zest. Let the veggies cook for another minute or two, then add in the nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Add the pork chops back into the pan and cook until the interior temperature of the chops reaches 145.

I served these garnished with supremed orange wedges. I'd show you a picture of it all plated up beautifully, but I had to pack it up into tupperware and take it over to the hospital because Mr Wonderful was working the swing shift. He started working at the local hospital a few weeks ago, and I've taken dinner to him a couple of times now. It's nice to share dinner together, even if it is in the less-than-romantic atmosphere of the laboratory break room.


Deanna S. said...

I am SO going to try this. I love fennel and it looks fabulous with the orange flavor.

Anonymous said...

I made this last night and it was very good. I added a tablespoon of good mustard to the sauce for a little punch. I will make this again for sure.

Snarkmeister said...

Oooooh, anonymous, I love the idea of adding mustard to this. It would definitely heat things up a bit!