Sunday, November 9, 2008

A delicious trifecta

I was looking for pork chop inspiration when I came across a recipe for Italian pork chops. Thinking along those lines, I figured that I might give risotto a shot. I rounded it out with some broccoli. A really long time later, I had one of the best dinners I have made in a while.

I've never made risotto before and I was nervous because I've heard it is a picky dish. It did take some time, but I was really patient with it and it was SO GOOD. Seriously, I might have eaten until I exploded but thankfully, the hubs staged an intervention and saved me from death by cheesy rice. Totally worth the nearly 40 minutes of constant stirring.

The pork chops were basically a version of garlic cheddar chicken but with crackers (not breadcrumbs) and pork. They also look giant because they had a bone in them. But, OMG were they good!

The hubs said this was the best dinner ever. And, I believed him.

Italian Pork Chops (
2 cups crushed saltine crackers
1-1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian-style seasoning
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2/3 cup butter, melted
4 pork chops

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, combine the crushed saltines, Parmesan cheese, Italian-style seasoning and garlic powder and mix together well.
Dip the chops in the melted butter and then dredge each chop in the cracker mixture, coating all sides thoroughly. Place the chops in a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until internal pork temperature reaches 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

Parmesan Risotto
5 to 6 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
Heat the olive oil in a 3-quart saucepan and cook the onion over medium heat, stirring until the onion is golden but not brown--about 3-5 minutes.Add the rice and stir to coat the rice.

Turn the heat to medium-high, add about 1/2 cup of the stock and keep the mixture boiling, stirring constantly. As soon as the stock has been absorbed, add another 1/2 cup of stock and stir. The risotto must keep boiling, but it must not stick to the pot. The whole cooking process may take 25-30 minutes. Once all the stock has been absorbed, and the risotto is tender, remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the butter and Parmesan.

Steamed broccoli
Get some broccoli and steam it until it is tender but still crisp. Yum!


Natalie said...

OH it looks fab!! That cheesy meat recipe is a staple at our house -- OK risotto I think I could do. Regulata or whatever -- no way!

The Food Librarian said...

Yum times 3! This looks great!!!

mil sue said...

Looks like it came from Sunset mag kitchens!! Yummy