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.
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 with Parmesan Orzo
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
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.