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.


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!

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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.