I always like to finish cooking my pork chops in the oven, which means we haven’t had pork chops in over 6 months. (The tiny kitchen in our rental didn’t have an oven, ‘member?) That’s a shame because my beau really loves his pork chops. Now that we’re starting to get our kitchen unpacked, I wanted one of the first meals I cooked him to be pork chops. I started googling recipes as my work day was wrapping up and accidentally left two internet windows open, therefore buying ingredients for two different recipes. Not one to waste things, I combined the two recipes into one super recipe, making a few ingredient adjustments along the way.
Start by seasoning pork chops with salt and garlic powder. Cook in a cast iron skillet (no oil/butter needed!) for 3-4 minutes per side. Once it’s nice and browned, put the skillet into a 400 oven for 18 minutes. Remove the pork chops from the pan and set them on a cutting board to rest for a few minutes. While they sit to the side, getting those juices all locked up, you’ll prepare your sauce/topping. Sauté sliced fennel and sliced cremini mushrooms for about 5 minutes. You’ll notice the pork left behind tons of nice brown bits so it’s time to deglaze the pan with about 1/2 c. chicken stock. There is so much flavor in there that you’re now incorporating. Let the stock come to a boil and rock out for 3-4 minutes (so it’s reduced by half). Then add in a bag (or several large handfuls) of cress. If you don’t have cress, arugula or spinach will work as well. I also added fresh herbs (tarragon and basil) with the cress. Let the greens wilt. Meanwhile, cook up some brown rice. (I used the microwavable steam-in-a-bag kind, which takes 4 minutes, so I started this step when I added the stock. If you’re full-on cooking brown rice, you’ll want to do that step earlier.) . At this point, your pork will be ready to go, so slice it into strips. Time to plate! Place the rice on a long platter, top with the greens/mushroom/fennel mixture, add the strips of pork, sprinkle on some crumbled blue cheese, and finally garnish with some of the fennel fronds.
I love that this whole meal came together in one pan and about 30 minutes. It works really well over rice, but the greens actually provide a hearty base so you could go totally carb-free if you wanted. Yes, there’s some cheese, but it’s pretty minimal so this is a supper you can feel really good about. Honestly, this is the most satisfied I’ve been by a “healthy” meal in a while. Guess that means I’ll be making it again.