Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins
Instead of calling for ordinary rice pilaf, Chef James Boyce of Mary Elaine's in Scottsdale, Arizona, pairs juicy pork chops and dried fruit with crunchy quinoa, a nutritional powerhouse that delivers both protein and carbs, as well as fiber, potassium and riboflavin.
- 2 1⁄4 cups chicken stock or 2 1⁄4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2⁄3 cup quinoa
- 2 tablespoons wheat berries
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 (5 ounce) boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 dried pear halves, diced
- 4 dried apricot halves, sliced
- 1⁄4 cup dried sour cherries
- 2 tablespoons ruby port
- Preheat the oven to 350°; In a small skillet, combine 1/4 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.
Ooh, I'm 1st! I used bone-in chops which didn't fit so well back in the pan at the end but I managed. The pilaf is SENSATIONAL. I even resisted the urge to add more wheat berries knowing that would throw off the liquid needed. :) I might add a chopped onion to the pan w/the fruit. I didn't have pears so I added a couple extra apricots & cherries. Yumyumyum! Thanks, Cheryl for a nice healthy fibericious meal! I made this for Cupid's Choice.