Spring Pork Chops

Y’all. Warm weather has finally arrived in Virginia, and I’m hoping it’s here to stay. My mood went up about 1000% this weekend due to the sunshine, so I decided to make a fun summery dinner for our friends! I have only cooked pork chops once before, but I found a recipe that looked amazing and thought the flavors looked really interesting. I think it turned out pretty well, and it was the perfect thing to enjoy in some warmer weather!

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ARUGULA SALAD WITH OLIVE OIL, LEMON, AND PARMESAN CHEESE

From: Food Network

Time: 10 minutes

Cost: $3.88

You know it’s going to be a simple recipe when all the ingredients are in the title. I love me some arugula, and this simple salad did not disappoint. The crunch and subtle flavor went perfectly with the pork chops!

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Caramelized Onion Risotto

From: Billy Parisi

Time: 30 minutes

Cost: $11.67

I have been wanting to make risotto for a bit as it’s a little more challenging than your average rice dish. Thankfully, it was a part of this pork dish! It was pretty simple to make, I just caramelized some onions with garlic, poured in the arborio rice, and added some white wine – which gives it a yummy flavor! I then added chicken stock bit by bit – the recipe makes it clear to wait and let the rice soak it up before adding more. I topped it off with some fresh basil and a healthy portion of parmesan, and viola! The rice was still a bit crunchy in my opinion – I probably could have been a little more patient and add more chicken stock at the end. But the flavor was very yummy and it turned out to be a great side dish.

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Chipotle Pork Chops

From: Billy Parisi

Time: 1 hour (plus fridge prep)

Cost: $25.34

As I mentioned, I have only cooked pork once before and it turned out well, but in doing some research for this recipe I realized that pork can be kind of hard to cook! I learned that pork should be brined before it’s cooked so that it soaks up more flavor – who knew? And I even got a meat thermometer which I almost burned myself on because I forgot it’s not impervious to the oven heat…woops. I was a little nervous to try this recipe – I usually use recipes that have good reviews and tips and tricks from people who have made it. But there were no reviews on this site – it just looked like an amazing recipe! So I decided to roll with it.

It took me about half an hour or so to make the sauce, which was by far the best part of this meal in my opinion. It’s made from caramelized red onions and garlic, apples, honey, apple cider (I used apple juice and lemon instead), and a totally new to me ingredient: chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. TBH, I had no clue what that was and I was just hoping it wasn’t too spicy. I gotta say, the chipotle peppers MADE this sauce. I cooked it all together and pureed it, then let it sit while the pork chops baked. It’s not the prettiest looking pork chop ever, but it definitely was delicious!

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If you have some time on a spring evening, I would recommend this menu! If you make it, I’d love to hear what you think!

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