Italian Style Pork Chops and Rice

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New Year, New Focus, New Home…well not yet.

In a month.

Headed to Texas…again.

And I’m stoked!

Two years is a long time… too long…and I miss you!

Ok enough of that, time to talk food. And this year is going to be filled with stepping out of my comfort zone, using what’s in the cabinet and twists on family favorites. Which brings me to today’s recipe: Grown-up Italian style Pork Chops and Rice.

Growing up pork chops and rice was one of a dozen standard recipes my mom made. Pork chops, onions, rice, tomato sauce (recipe to come) I mean what could be better? Well, I’m not much of a pork person and there was never enough rice. Not to mention it took hours in the oven or you ended up with crunchy rice and no one likes crunchy rice.

Since my husband likes pork, I bought some last month and stuck it in the freezer. After two weeks in Oklahoma and our entire weekly food budget spent on “basics” (never take your husband grocery shopping), those pork chops came in handy. Looking for something familiar but not having 2+ hours to cook dinner, I headed to the internet. FoodNetwork.com came through again. Combining Rachel Ray’s and Giada De Laurentiis’ Pork Chops Pizzaiola and tricks from Mom’s Pork Chops and Rice…VOILA! Grown-up Italian Style Pork Chops and Rice!

Ingredients:

4 pork chops

Salt and Pepper

3 Tbsp. Olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tsp. fennel seed or cumin seed or anise seed (used cumin)

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 Tsp. crushed red pepper or ½ Tsp. cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp. oregano

1 Tsp. Herb de Provence (mixture of basil, marjoram, thyme, sage, rosemary – use what you have)

1 Tsp. parsley

1 small can of tomato paste

1 – 15 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes, in juice

1 cup of good Pinot Noir or other light red wine

2 cups of stock, (chicken, vegetable, beef)

1 – 1 ½ cup of brown rice

1 small can of tomato sauce

1 – 1 ½ Tbsp. brown sugar (just trust me)

 

Directions

  1. Place water for rice (1 ½ cups for 1 cup of rice) in a medium pot over high heat. When boiling add rice, tomato sauce and brown sugar. Be sure to stir periodically so the rice doesn’t stick.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Add pork chops and brown, about 3 minutes per side and to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove and place on a plate.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and add onion and all seasonings. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, wine and stock. Simmer uncovered about 15 minutes until sauce thickens slightly and flavors blend (add additional spices if needed).
  6. Place pork chops back into the sauce, reduce heat and simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.
  7. Plate rice with pork chop, cover with sauce and serve with leftover Pinot Noir.
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