Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Couscous with Pork

This started from an experiment with last night's dinner. I had initially planned on doing some nice stuffed pork chops, but one thing led to another, and A: the pork chops were to thin to slice and stuff, B: for some reason the only rice I had was long grain brown rice, which takes FOREVER to cook, and I didn't have time for it.

So, let's get down to business, shall we?

4-6 Pork chops with bones, roughly 1/2-3/4 inch in thickness
1 Cup of couscous
2 Cups of water
1 TBSP of butter
1 Cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Cup of sliced black olives
1/4 Cup of juice from the can of olives
2 TSP garlic powder
1 TSP parsley
1 TSP salt
1 TSP black pepper
1 TSP creole seasoning

1: Bring the water, butter, creole seasoning, and 1 teaspoon of the garlic powder to a boil, add the couscous, remove from heat, and stir until water is absorbed. Stir in the olives and set aside.

2: Find your favorite shallow metal baking dish, such as a cookie sheet, and line this with aluminum foil, shiny side down. Dump the couscous onto the foil and spread to roughly 1/2 inch thick upon the pan.

3: Season the raw pork chops with remaining garlic powder, parsley, salt, and black pepper, and arrange these carefully on top of the couscous so that as much couscous as possible is covered, without overlapping the meat.

4: Sprinkle the chopped onion around the dish, and then gently pour the juice from the olive can over the pork chops.

5: Place in the middle of a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until pork chops are cooked through.

6: Remove from oven, use a spatula to serve couscous and pork as one dish, and enjoy!

This gives you a nice savory bed of moist, fluffy couscous, and delicious pork chops in one dish. Thinking back on it now, I wish I had done some mushroom or pork-flavored gravy to drizzle over top of the finished product, but it was tasty regardless. Lately I have found lots of uses for couscous, usually as a substitute for rice when I need a slightly different flavor or texture in the dish that rice doesn't have. Make sure the test the couscous in this recipe before putting it on the cookie sheet, if it is underdone (IE: not enough water was used, or too much couscous was used) it will taste like you are eating wet sand, which is never appreciated.

And yes, when I get some thicker pork chops, I will definitely do a recipe for stuffed pork chops with my rice and sausage stuffing. Nothing says delicious like stuffing meat with meat.

~bon app├ętit~

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