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Friday, September 23, 2011

Spice Rubbed Pork with Quinoa

This is another Food Network Magazine recipe.  I love their weeknight meals section, and I love it even more since they started including the nutrition information along with the recipes.  That makes it really easy to plan the rest of your day, or to find ways to cut down on the calories/fat, as I did with Wednesday's Barcelona Burgers recipe.  This recipe was pretty good as is -- around 500 calories, which is right on target for a typical weeknight meal.  Plus, it's built on lean protein and quinoa is generally considered a whole grain (yes I know it's technically a seed, but for nutrition purposes it is classified as a whole grain).  Add an extra veggie as a side and you're all set! 

I loved the spice mix on the pork chop, because as we determined previously, I love smoked paprika.  I really liked the quinoa too; we hadn't had it before and this was a great preparation.  We even repeated the side dish with other meals since it's super easy and fairly quick as well.  The key to quinoa is to rinse it really really well.  It can have an outer coating that will turn bitter when cooked.  I adapted it only slightly -- changing up the called for pork tenderloins with pork chops and the frozen corn with canned.  The only other change I made is to cook my quinoa as directed on the package, not as listed in the recipe.  I have made these changes in this rendition of the recipe.  

Spice Rubbed Pork with Quinoa
adapted from Food Network Magazine
serves 4

kosher salt
1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons cumin
4 pork chops, center cut and boneless
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can (15 oz) canned corn, drained
2 scallions, thinly sliced
salsa verde, for serving (optional)

  • Put a medium pot with 2 cups of water, a few good pinches of salt and the 1 cup quinoa over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and keep it at a simmer until water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl mix smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, cumin and 2 teaspoons salt.  Once combined, use as a rub on the pork chops.  Coat all sides of the pork chops with the spice rub.  
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil, heat until shimmering.  Place the pork chops in the heated oil coated skillet.  Let sear on the first side, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until a golden brown crust forms.  Flip and cook for 3-4 minutes on the opposite side. 
  • Once quinoa is cooked, turn off heat and add corn and scallions.  Stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve one pork chop per person with quinoa.  Top pork chop with salse verde, if desired. 

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