Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pork Chops with Orange & Fennel Salad


Fennel is becoming one of my favorite ingredients. There's something gourmet yet homey about cooking with it. Maybe gourmet because it has a fresh, healthy taste and homey because it reminds me of Italian cooking. Whatever it is, I like to try it out whenever I see a new recipe that calls for it.

I think fennel and orange is a classic combination and it works perfectly with the pork chops. This dish does not have any strong flavors individually, but it has a very sophisticated taste when complete. It kind of reminds me of spa food - even though you probably wouldn't find pork chops at most spas. It is fresh and light yet flavorful. My family loved it.

Pork Chops with Orange & Fennel Salad
Makes 4 servings

3 naval oranges

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon salt, divided

4 4-ounce boneless porkchops, ½-inch thick, trimmed

2 teaspoons fennel seeds, roughly chopped or coarsely ground in a spice grinder

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced

1 shallot, chopped

3 cups watercress or arugula, tough stems removed

Remove the skin and white pith from oranges with a sharp knife. Working over a bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes. Squeeze juice in the bowl before discarding membranes. Transfer the segments with a slotted spoon to another bowl. Whisk lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and ¼ teaspoon salt into the bowl with the orange juice. Set aside.

Season pork chops on both sides with fennel seeds, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chops and cook until browned and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Add sliced fennel and shallot to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add watercress (or arugula) and cook, stirring, until it begins to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in the reserved orange segments, then transfer the contents of the pan to a platter.

Add the reserved orange juice mixture and any accumulated juices from the pork chops to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Serve the pork chops on the fennel salad, drizzled with the pan sauce.


7 comments:

Jamie said...

Hello my new Facebook friend! First time visiting your blog and this dish is gorgeous! This fennel-orange combo sounds delish and I should try this with veal chops next time instead of the usual apples. Yum!

Aji said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
samantha said...

You know what - its the fennel that does the trick of making it so much more appetizing. I have a thing for fennel and besides it works wonders for the digestion. So with denser meats fennel works very well. Great recipe too.

Treehouse Chef said...

I love making pork chops with various fruit flavors. I can't wait to try this one. Greta photos.

Jescel said...

i love the fennel-orange combo as well. they go well together. this dish looks mighty tasty...

Sophie said...

Fennel does have a fresh flavor that would definitely pair well with orange sounds delicious!

RosemaryandtheGoat said...

I can't wait to try this recipe. Please stop by my new site. www.rosemaryandthegoat.com. Named after an appetizer I make.