Monday, November 2, 2009

Mediterranean Chops with Parmesan Orzo

Mediterranean Chops

Do you have favorite flavor combinations? There is, of course, the well known pairs: chocolate and peanut butter, pork and apples, potatoes and rosemary, and cheese with just about anything. One of my favorites is the Mediterranean combination of raisins and vinegar, a sort of sweet and sour. The sweetness and chewiness of the raisins with the sharp bite of the vinegar. It is a little tastebud battle on your tongue.

Mediterranean Chops

So, when I read the combination of ingredients in Mediterranean Chops with Parmesan Orzo from Cuisine at Home's Cuisine Tonight, I new that I had a winner. This was seriously good. The combination of caper, olives, raisins, Marsala and vinegar is astounding. It all cooks up into a sweet tart almost jammy like flavor. Be sure and serve it in something to catch all the juice, you will not want to waste a drop. You'll notice in my pictures that I did not garnish with lemon and parsley, since I am sorely lacking in my garnishing skills.

Mediterranean Chops

Mediterranean Chops with Parmesan Orzo
Serves 4

4 Boneless pork chops 6 oz. each
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup All-purpose flour
1/4 cup Olive oil
1 cup Onions sliced
1 cup Golden raisins
2 tablspoons Garlic chopped
1/2 cup Dry marsala
1-1/2 Cups Roma tomatoes seeded, chopped
1 cup Chicken broth
1/4 cup White wine vinegar
2 tablspoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Dried oregano
1/2 cup Pimiento-stuffed green olives
2 tablspoons Capers drained, crushed
2 tablspoons Fresh parsley chopped
1 tablspoons Lemon zest
Parmesan Orzo
1 cup Dry Orzo pasta
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan or Asiago grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Mediterranean Chops: Season the chops with salt and pepper and dust with flour.

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the chops and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan.

Add the onions and saute 3 minutes. Stir in the raisins and garlic and saute another minute.

Deglaze the pan with the marsala, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the tomatoes, broth, vinegar, sugar, and oregano and bring to a boil.

Return the chops to the pan, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes or until chops are tender.

Add the olives and capers just before serving. Simmer until heated through.

To serve arrange the chops over the Parmesan Orzo, then garnish with parsley and lemon zest.

Parmesan Orzo: Prepare Orzo according to package directions and drain. Transfer to a bowl or serving dish and stir in olive oil, cheese, salt and pepper.


Amy said...

I have such a sweet tooth, so I tend to gravitate toward...well, sweet dishes. BUT I do love tangy also. I really like the vinegar and mustard combos. I cook with vinegars a lot. Actually, one of my favorite salads has couscous, raisins and vinegar. I would enjoy this, but I might serve it with mashed potatoes to mop up the juices, since I always have them in the house. Yum, Pam. Looks really good.

Joy said...

This sounds really good. Have never purchased marsala. Suggestions?

noble pig said...

Those are soooooo nice!

Marjie said...

This looks like a wonderful combination, Pam!

Kim said...

I love cooking with marsala and this dish sounds great! Orzo is at the top of my list when it comes to pasta.

A Year on the Grill said...

boy oh boy, everything came together perfect... This is a terrific recipe, lots of great tastes that will blend well

Thanks for this great recipe

Barbara said...

Love the sweet and sour effect with pork chops. Your photos make me want to rush out and make this tonight! The recipe is chock full of great ingredients.

lakeviewer said...

I'm hungry! Great recipe.

Grace said...

what a unique piggly preparation. as a fan of mediterranean flavors, i can definitely profess my love for this without even needing to taste it. gorgeous dish, pam!

buffalodick said...

That does sound good..Wonderful description, and a great photo too!

Shirley said...

This sounds really good, and I love your photos.

the ungourmet said...

This looks delicious! I'm really thinking of making that yummy orzo tonight!

Mini Baker said...

I normally don't like chops because they are usually pretty dry, but yours look scrumptious! and the orzo.... delish!
-Mini Baker :)

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Pork, olives and Marsala...three of my favorites and served over orzo too. Bravo.

Joanne said...

I love this Mediterranean flavor combination as well. Just about anything sweet and salty gets me going. Butter and maple syrup. For example. Peanut butter and chocolate is an obvious love. Brie with really tart things, like cranberries. Gets me every time.

hip chick said...

Oh my this looks good! I have a pork loin that I need to use in the freezer and I'm thinking I could use it for this.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Mmm, totally delicious.
I am with you - raisins shine in savoury applications.

ARLENE said...

I agree--a great pairing--and your garnishing is just fine! Looks delicious.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm not a pork chop person, but I love the vinegar-fruit flavors going on in this dish. How about lamb chops, or chicken breasts?

Bonnie@Savoring Simplicity said...

My husband will do back flips if he sees this recipe. Back flips, I tell you. I'm saving this one.

Chris said...

The capers, vinegar and those flavors all make my mouth water. What a nicely composed flavor profile! Great photo too!

Les said...

You may be lacking in garnishing skills (tho, somehow I doubt it), but you are an outstanding foodie photographer! My food pix are pathetic!

Chanel11 said...

My husband just loves raisins with meat

a good yarn said...

It's a winning combination. This I would make and savour and lick my fingers.

Peter M said...

You've got some great flavours going on here, from many unfluences. The colour on those chops did get my attention.