Here’s yet another delicious entry in my healthy meals series – Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Quinoa Pilaf and Dried Fruit. Loaded with wonderful protein, whole grains, and a dried fruit triple play (pears, apricots, and sour cherries), all you need to add is a crisp green salad and you have a well-rounded dinner. Healthy and joyous eating!
Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Quinoa Pilaf and Dried Fruit (Recipe courtesy JAMES BOYCE)
- 2 ¼ cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2/3 cup quinoa
- 2 tablespoons wheat berries
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Four 5-ounce boneless pork loin chops, trimmed of fat
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 dried pear halves, diced
- 4 dried apricot halves, sliced
- ¼ cup dried sour cherries (1 ounce)
- 2 tablespoons ruby port
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet, combine ¼ cup of the stock with the shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the quinoa, wheat berries, thyme and bay leaf. Add 1 cup of the stock and bring to a simmer. Scrape the mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish, cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa and wheat berries are tender. Remove the pilaf from the oven and keep covered.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and brown them in the skillet over moderately high heat, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Add the dried pears, apricots and cherries to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the port and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 cup of stock and simmer over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Add the pork chops and any accumulated juices and cook over moderate heat, turning the pork a few times, until it is hot and just cooked, about 2 minutes.
Uncover the pilaf and fluff it with a fork; season with salt and pepper. Mound the pilaf on plates. Set the pork chops on the pilaf, top with the fruit sauce and serve.
Serving yield = 4. One Serving = 454 cal, 15 gm fat, 3.3 gm saturated fat, 40 gm carb, 4 gm fiber.