Often I forget about cooking pork chops, but if I catch them on sale I will scoop up a pack or two. Generally, I go with center cut pork loin chops with the bone-in because that is what I grew up eating weekly along side Monday red beans and rice.
Pork chops are a reasonable protein choice due to the comparable caloric values of that in other protein choices; a 100 gram chop has about 130 calories with 4 grams of fat compared to a 100 gram skinless chicken breast containing about 115 calories and 3 grams of fat.
Of course calories are dependent upon the cut of meat and the cooking method used. I recommend center cut pork chops and tenderloins as both are lean cuts of meat. As for cooking, stay away from deep frying or dredging the pork in buttery marinades. Use fresh herbs and spices for full flavor meats; also, fruit compotes or fruit juice and vinegar reductions pair nicely with pork. Opt for pan searing or baking to cut out any unwanted fat and calories. In addition, having chops that are pre-portioned help with managing portions more easily than having to measure out a serving from cooking a whole pork tenderloin.
Last Thursday morning, I took my center cut pork loin chops from the freezer in preparation for dinner. I was unsure of how I wanted to prepare them, but knew I needed a quick cooked meal since arriving home near 7:00 that evening. I decided on a quick pan sear with a garlic orange reduction and sautéed vegetables that I had on hand.
Pork Chops with Garlic Orange Reduction and Sauteed Mustard Greens with Potatoes
4 center cut pork chops
salt and pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp. garlic, minced, divided
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tsp. light brown sugar, divided
1-16 oz. bag mustard greens
1 medium red potato, diced
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
Directions: Steam potatoes in microwave in a bowl with two tablespoons water, covered with plastic wrap for 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Spray large pan with cooking spray and heat to medium. Season chops with salt and pepper. Pan sear pork chops 4-5 minutes on each side until done. Remove to plate and cover. Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp. garlic, orange juice, and 1 tsp. brown sugar to small saucepan; cook on medium low stirring frequently until mixture reduces by half about 15 minutes. In same pan used for chops, add chicken broth, 2 tsp. brown sugar, and garlic. Scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and stir for 2 minutes. Add greens in handfuls until all fit in pan and stir in potatoes. Cook on medium low heat for 20 minutes until wilted and liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. Plate greens and potato mixture. Top with a pork chop. Drizzle garlic orange sauce over the top. Enjoy!
The flavor combinations of the sweet orange sauce worked well with the salted pork loin chop. The husband is a big fan of sautéed greens much more than I am so he thoroughly enjoyed this meal.
My eats today included:
Oatmeal with half a crumbled oatmeal cookie and peanut butter
And instant coffee for quickness
Lunch was some lentil, sweet potato and bacon soup from the freezer with a couple of mint dark chocolates from Mom’s visit to TJs Chicago.
My meeting after work today lasted until 5:45, so Chris and I ate last night’s leftover beef and spinach lasagna.
Finally, my sweet tooth kicked in and the handful of wasabi peas from a coworker did not cut it. I had peanut butter and sweet potato pecan butter on toast.
**Added note: When consuming pork, make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 160* to prevent trichinella poisoning.
Luckily, I’ve never experienced any major food poisoning, but a coworker was once hospitalized for over a week due to consuming undercooked chicken. Have you ever experienced food poisoning? Do you have any food safety tips that should be followed when cooking with meat?