I'm really trying to be more creative in the kitchen. While we have our staples that are quick, simple, and Deuce kitty could probably cook from watching us make them enough times, I have always loved variety in my food. I'm not a big meal planner though, so it can be hit or miss whether I can put together something new and fun with the ingredients in the house. Last night, I hit the jackpot though.
It all started with a pork chop. We like to get the center cut pork chops from Costco. They're thick and I don't think we've spotted a lot of other chops that come close in comparison. That led me to the mango salsa, which was easy because we keep frozen mango in the freezer for the baby these days. It is easy to dice from frozen and defrosts quickly too. Don't get me wrong - I love a fresh mango, but it can be easy to miss that perfect ripeness. As a nice compliment to the protein, I whipped up a little Israeli aka "pearl" couscous (which I generally prefer to the standard American couscous as it has a more hearty texture) with some sauteed veggies. This was super easy to make, and has a pretty short prep/cook time too! I will say that I loved pretty much everything about this dish, so here's a recipe for you.
Make the mango salsa first, then set aside while the other components are cooking.
1/2 cup diced mango
1/4 cup red onion (I actually substituted green onion because we didn't have any red onion)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 medium japaleno (If you feel like the jalapeno is too much, it's not as spicy once eaten with the pork chop)
Place first four ingredients together in a bowl. Add the lime juice and salt, stirring until well mixed.
PORK CHOP & COUSCOUS
2 center cut pork chops (approx 1" thick)
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup Israeli "pearl" couscous
1 small onion
1 cup baby bella mushroom
1 cup spinach
2 tsp Lemon juice
Salt, pepper, garlic
Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic. Place oil in pan and heat until medium-hot. Add pork chops and cook until there is a nice brown sear (approx 4-5 minutes on each side). Lower heat, add the chicken stock to the pan, cover, and cook until pork chops have reached an internal temperature of 145°F.
While the pork chops are cooking, start to cook the couscous per instructions on the packet. The instructions on the package I had were to add couscous to 1 1/4 cups boiling water, salt, and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes stirring frequently.
In a separate pan, heat olive oil, then sautee onion, mushroom, spinach and garlic over medium heat. Once couscous is finished cooking, remove pan from heat. Add in sauteed vegetables, toss well with the lemon juice and a little extra olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Once both the pork and couscous are done cooking, serve it up, adding the mango salsa on top of the pork chop. Enjoy!