16 January, 2013

Sage Rubbed Pork Chops with Fennel Orange Puree, Truffled Sweet Potato Matchsticks, Charred Brussel Sprouts

Sounds so fancy right?

Well it can be whipped up in a jiffy.
Probably one of the fastest dinners I've prepared
(have you seen my chili post?! I'm not good at whipping up quick meals!)
The porkchops are lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and rubbed with a bit of sage.  The Fennel Orange Puree is what really does it for these chops- the deep, caramelized flavor of the fennel, the freshness from the acidity in the OJ.. works really well here.

And who's gonna turn down crispy Truffled Sweet Potato Matchsticks- which by the way, all you do is cut and throw in the oven. Do buy a julienne peeler if you haven't already.  I can't imagine trying to cut sweet potatoes into uniform size by hand.  Eek. The julienne peeler works like a vegetable peeler, only instead of peeling skin off, it peels spaghetti-sized perfectly uniform 'matchsticks.'  If you don't have truffle oil, don't sweat it.  Some salt and these will still be delicious.
A weeknight meal to impress or a weekend dinner you don't have to slave over.

Either way, you win.

Sage Rubbed Pork Chops with Fennel Orange Puree, Truffled Sweet Potato Matchsticks, Charred Brussel Sprouts

2 pork chops, trimmed of excessive fat (leave some fat for flavor!)
1 tbsp fresh minced sage leaves (about 5 or 6 leaves)
1 sweet potato
1 lb brussel sprouts
1 small bulb of fennel, trimed, cored, and thinnly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp white truffle oil
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinger
salt and pepper

Make the Fennel Orange Puree
In a small pot, heat a few drizzles of olive oil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to medium low and add the shallot and fennel.  Saute about 15 minutes, until fennel is very tender. Place the mixture in a blender and season with salt and pepper. Pour in 1 tbsp of olive oil and puree.  With blender still running, slowly pour in the orange juice.  Check the taste and consistency of your puree- add more salt and pepper if needed, or add more olive oil if too thick for your tastes.  Alternatively you can substitute the olive oil for milk or cream if desired for a different flavor.

Truffled Sweet Potatoes Matchsticks
Preheat oven to 400. Cut the sweet potato in half and use a julienne peeler to cut into matchsticks. Drizzle the matchsticks with a bit of olive oil and season with a few shakes of a salt and pepper shaker.  Lay the sweet potato matchsticks out on two baking sheets.  If you use one baking sheet it will be to crowded, and the sweet potatoes will steam, leaving you with soggy matchsticks.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until tender and crisp. When ready, drizzle with white truffle oil, toss to combine, and serve.

Charred Brussel Sprouts
Cut the ends off of sprouts and remove loose outer leaves.  Cut each one in half lengthwise (cutting through the stem).  Heat a large DRY skillet over medium high heat with NO olive oil.  Once hot, place the brussel sprouts in pan cut side down.  Let sit and cook until the sprouts begin to blacken on the bottom.  Once they do, give them a quick stir, pour in two tbsp of olive oil, and give another stir.  Let cook about 5 minutes, season generously with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Pour in a couple dashes of balsamic vinegar (maybe a half a tbsp).  Cook about 5 more minutes or until brussel sprouts are tender but still just a bit crisp. 

Pork Chops
In a small bowl, mix together a tsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and the sage.  Rub this mixture on the pork chops, coating both sides.  Heat a few generous drizzles medium high heat.  Once hot, add the pork chops.  Cook about 4 minutes per side, until chops have a nice dark golden color and are thoroughly cooked. Remove and let rest for a few minutes.

To serve, arrange pork chops on plate.  Spoon Fennel Orange puree over top and garnish with a few fennel fronds or parsley.  Arrange Sweet Potato Matchsticks next to pork chops, and enjoy!

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