Saturday, March 1, 2014

Jalapeno Chipotle Pork Chops with Tomato Quinoa

Good old fashioned pork chops and tomato rice (like we made back in the 60's when we thought they were gourmet) just got a makeover. In my kitchen. No, they're still not a fancy dish by any means, but they're still some doggone good eating.

The old version consisted of pork chops, canned tomatoes, onion, green pepper rings and instant rice. Period. 

The makeover? A little heat of jalapeno and chipotle, a bottle of beer (gluten-free in my case, maybe a nice Mexican beer for you?), a little accent of cumino and cilantro, some roasted sweet corn and instead of rice (confession time, I only had black, red and arborio and didn't want to use any of those), quinoa stood in to get a whole new thing going on. There's something to be said for a jazzy new dish that's still familiar.

You might want to add a green veggie or a salad, but with peppers, onions, tomatoes and corn already in the mix, if time is short what's in the skillet is really all you need. On top of that, it's so easy I'm putting this one into the "quickie" category...after all, it goes together quickly AND it's a one dish diner!

Jalapeno Chipotle Pork Chops 
with Tomato Quinoa

  • 2 T canola oil
  • 4 nice sized, thick, bone-in pork chops - I like center cut loin chops
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 large jalapeno, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes, UNdrained
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 3/4 t chipotle powder (seriously, if you haven't gotten yourself a bottle of this smoky wonder-spice, get ON it!)
  • 1 1/2 C quinoa - rinse well in a sieve under running water before adding to the skillet
  • a 12 oz bottle or can of your favorite beer - gluten-free, of course, to make this GF
  • 1 C roasted corn kernels (if you're roasting these yourself, dry fry in a skillet or buy already roasted corn in the freezer section of Trader Joe's (yep...MY choice!)
  • a handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

In a large skillet (I use my trusty electric skillet), heat the oil. Season the chops liberally with salt and pepper and brown them on both sides. 

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl mix the onion through quinoa together thoroughly. Once the chops are browned, spoon a pile of the mixture on top of each chop and then distribute the rest of the mixture around and between the chops.

Carefully pour the beer between the chops, cover, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 45 minutes to an hour until the chops are tender and the quinoa is cooked. Check occasionally to be sure the liquid hasn't dissipated. If it's getting dry, add a little water (or more beer) and keep an eye on it.

Serve with a sprinkling of roasted corn and chopped cilantro.

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