Thursday, March 20, 2014

Grilled Pork Chops with Ancho-Avocado Orzo

Sometimes it's nice to just chill at home, watch a little F1 on TV and have a nice meal.

This is exactly what we did this past weekend.  Taking some downtime, some time to really re-connect by doing everyday things and being together.  Sometimes it's best to just be and to enjoy each other's company without going out.  To work together to make a nice dinner, talk, watch a little TV, do the dishes know what I mean?

It's soothing to just enjoy your loved ones company.  We like to curl up on the coach before dinner and grab the tablet and share favorite songs on You Tube, radio stations on Pandora, or watch a show on Netflix.  Then it's off to the store together to gather some ingredients for a special meal (but quick) that I've had my eye on.  Even going to the store together builds the connection as you discuss favorite ingredients for a salad, or show each other something new that the found.

Back home it's in the kitchen to prep for Frilled Pork Chops with Ancho-Avocado Orzo.  Oh Yum!  This recipe is all about the side dish...yes, the side dish.  The pork chops are just simple grilled chops.  Use your favorite cut.  The side dish is pasta (orzo) mixed with a lot of southwestern veggies to cut the carb count.  Top it with a heavenly sauce made from roasted chiles, ancho chili powder, and avocado and you have one heck of a tasty dish!

Note:  to make this go a little quicker it is good to cook about 1 cup of dry orzo.  You will need 2 cups cooked in this dish and any leftover cooked pasta can be made into another salad, or used in soup.

MGG was on cloud nine eating this dish. (love that!)  He helped with the making of the sauce and cooking the chops. A little kitchen banter and lots of laughter made this dish all the more special.  The flavor profile is outstanding.  Not too hot, but it has great zip in the sauce.  Dial down on the ancho chile powder if you don't care for the heat.  

Served with a salad and some hot rolls, this was a winner! Enjoy!

Grilled Pork Chops with Ancho-Avocado Orzo
adapted from Diabetic Living Magazine
Serves 4

2 fresh anaheim chile peppers
4 bone-in pork loin chops, thin cut
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 avocado, halved, seeded, and peeled
1/2 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
2 cups cooked orzo pasta
1 can reduced-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preheat broiler. Halve chile peppers. Removing the seeds and ribs. Place chile pepper halves, cut sides down, on foil-lined baking sheet. Broil about 7-8 minutes or until peppers are charred. Wrap in the foil and let stand about 15 minutes. Gently remove skins and peel off and discard. Coarsely chop peppers and set aside.

Trim fat from pork chops. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Heat grill pan over medium heat. Cook pork chops on hot grill pan 6 to 8 minutes or until no longer pink , turning once. Let stand 3 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, in a blender combine chile peppers, avocado, milk, lemon juice, ground ancho chile pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and blend until smooth.

In a large bowl combine orzo, black beans, cherry tomatoes, and corn. Pour avocado mixture over ingredients and toss until well combines. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Serve pork chops over orzo mixture.

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