I hold myself to INTENSE standards for cooking. When everyone else is salivating over something I’ve made, I’ve already moved on to mulling over future improvements I could make to the recipe. But every once in awhile, I make something and it is
I have to just turn off my brain, sit back, and let myself be swept away by delicious.
Tonight, I made the best pork chops ever. Pork chops! I KNOW!
I give you Cooking Light’s fennel brined pork chops.
These literally could not have been better.
The texture of the pork was SO MOIST AND TENDER! The brine infused it with so much liquid that even after cooking in the hot pan, it meeeeeeelted in your mouth. As you can see, there was gorgeous caramelization.
The flavors were also TO DIE FOR! Anise and pork is a really wonderful, subtle, complex, well suited flavor combination. And every time I eat pork I am reminded that I really really like pork! Unlike chicken, the other go-to lean meat, it actually has a nice flavor of its own.
A note on methodology: I used bone-in pork chops rather than boneless. Rather than grilling, I sauteed the chops in a nonstick skillet, coated in cooking spray rather than grilled- about 5 for the first side, then 3 for the second, then another 1 for the first once my pan woke up, so I could get a sear.
For my side dishes, I made another Cooking Light recipe, Whole Grain Cornsticks. They were pretty good. Obviously I made them in a muffin tin rather than a “cornstick pan” (? is it like a Texas thing or something?)
All together. A rather unexpectedly exceptional dinner for a Tuesday night.