Pork Chops, Mushroom Pilaf, and Honey-Maple Carrots

Current Mood: Proud

Listening to: Gives You Hell by the All-American Rejects

This was the dinner I made tonight πŸ™‚ Pork chops with mushroom pilaf and honey-maple glazed baby carrots. Two things were new for me. I’d never made pork chops before. They were simply dry rubbed and pan fried. And the pilaf. I’ve made rice before (who hasn’t?) but I’d never used that technique before in the past. So, here are the recipes, and the tasty-looking pictures.

Pork Chops with Dry Rub

3 Pork chops (Or more. Or less. Who cares?)
Oil (Olive oil, vegetable oil, bacon fat, etc. Whatever blows your skirt up.)
Ground Cumin
Sugar
Parsley, dried
Cilantro, dried
Paprika
Black pepper, crushed
Sea salt
Fresh garlic, 1 clove, minced
Onion, sliced (optional)

I’m not gonna lie, I completely pulled this rub out of my ass. Maybe that’s an inappropriate phrase, when discussing food (kinna unsanitary), but it was completely made up. And, surprisingly, delicious. Even though I don’t even like cumin that much. But, the rub was primarily cumin, sugar, and paprika, with about half as much of each of the other dry ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Then, sprinkle pinches of the mixture over the uncooked chops, and rub, rub, rub. You want to rub the dry ingredients into the meat so that it holds fast. As an afterthought, I also rubbed on some minced garlic, which I think really added to the flavor. Just a few little bits rubbed on each side. In the meantime, you should have a large skillet heating on the stove on high. When you finish rubbing both sides of the meat, add some oil to the pan. Enough to coat the bottom. Let it heat up, until it takes on that shimmery, ripply sort of Summer mirage quality, where the asphalt gets all wavery-looking, yaknow? πŸ˜‰ Then, plop those suckers in there. You want to sear them, hard and fast, on each side. It’s going to depend on the thickness of the cut of meat, but I’d say about two minutes on each side. Then, you can lower the heat and let the meat cook the rest of the way through, if need be, for about five minutes. You’ll almost definitely have to do that with a thicker cut. When I lowered the heat, I added some sliced up onions to the pan too. Because I love onions! πŸ™‚ Do whatever you like!

Mushroom Pilaf

Rice, 1 cups
Mushrooms, diced
Onion, diced
Stock (chicken, beef, vegetable, etc.)
Vegetable oil
Water (optional)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Butter (optional)

This is not minute rice. Though it’s pretty easy and damn delicious. I used jasmine rice, which is a short grain rice. Preferably, I believe, with a pilaf, you want long grain, buuut…We use what we’ve got. So, here’s what you’re gonna do. Look at the directions on the package of rice that you have. If it calls for 1 1/2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice, like mine did, then you’re going to do about 3/4 stock and 3/4 water. Or you can do all stock, but I think that’d make the rice a little to salty. It’s going to absorb a lot of that flavor. Anyway, you’re essentially going to follow the directions on the package, but instead of all water, you’re going to use some stock. Also, you’re going to brown the uncooked rice in some oil before you add it to the water. This brings out a heavenly, nutty aroma. After you’ve browned the rice a bit, add in the mushrooms and onion. I used a healthy handful little button mushrooms and about half a large portobello, and about half of a big yellow onion. It could have used more mushrooms, honestly, but I looove mushrooms. Let the mushrooms and onions cook up a bit before pouring the rice mixture into the stock/water, or pouring the stock/water over the rice mixture. Whichever you prefer. Then…just follow the instructions! Mine simmered for 20 minutes and then was removed from the heat and covered for 10. I actually made two cups of rice, but if I do it again, I’ll just make one. It turned out to be a LOT of rice. Probably could’ve served six people, rather than the four that I cooked for. Oh well πŸ™‚ Now I’ve got leftovers! Maybe tomorrow I’ll make Arancini di Riso…Oops, anyway! Fluff the rice up with a fork to serve. I added a little bit of butter, salt, and pepper to the top of each serving πŸ˜‰

I’m not even gonna give a recipe for the carrots. It’s this simple. Cook the carrots in some boiling water, drain off the water, salt the carrots, stir in some butter, drizzle on honey and maple syrup, and sprinkle on some brown sugar. Done! And now…on to the food porn! πŸ˜€

Some of the dry ingredients for the rub.  Clockwise from the upper left.  Black pepper, sea salt, parsley, and a mix of cumin and paprika.

Some of the dry ingredients for the rub. Clockwise from the upper left. Black pepper, sea salt, parsley, and a mix of cumin and paprika.

)

Mushrooms and onions, diced up and ready to go πŸ™‚

Rice browning...Totally my favorite part.  Smells sooo good.

Rice browning...Totally my favorite part. Smells sooo good.

Late in the game. Just keeping the chops warm and cooking the onions.

Late in the game. Just keeping the chops warm and cooking the onions.

Ta-daaaaaa! Fit for a kiiing! (Okay, maybe Im exaggerating a little...)

Ta-daaaaaa! Fit for a kiiing! (Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little...)

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