Double-Fennel Pork Chops
There's a reason why fennel pairs so well with everything from pork and fish to apples. It's sweet anise flavor elevates everything around it and fills the kitchen with a smell you just can't beat. In this dish, both fennel seed and sautéed fresh fennel bring big flavor to simple pork chops.
2 tsp. fennel seed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Four 1-inch-thick center-cut bone-in pork loin chops (about 12 oz. each), trimmed
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 medium fennel bulbs (2 lb.), trimmed, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips, plus 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fronds
3/4 cup lower-salt chicken broth
3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
Lightly crush the fennel seed in a mortar and pestle or with the bottom of a small skillet. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Season the pork chops with 3 tsp. of the spice mixture.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet. Stir in the fresh fennel, 1/2 cup of the broth, and the remaining spice mixture. Cover the skillet, increase the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel begins to soften and brown, 8 to 10 minutes (reduce the heat if the fennel browns too quickly).
Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, and add the remaining 1/4 cup broth and 2 Tbs. of the parsley. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits, until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining parsley and the fronds, season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer to a medium bowl.
Wipe out the pan, add the oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook, turning once with tongs, until well browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. (To check for doneness, make a small cut near the bone and look inside.the pork should still have a hint of pinkness.) Serve the pork chops with the fennel.
An Arugula, Mint & Apple Salad with Walnuts & Buttermilk Dressing
starts the meal off right.
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 96
, pp. 115a
October 24, 2008