Dinner was simple tonight. Five half-inch thick pork chops. Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and 5 spice powder, set aside while chopping the vegetables. The salt brings the juices to the surface and makes it sear better. Much happiness. I cut 2 onions into large wedges, 4 carrots into fairly thick strips, and 4 zucchini into 1/4-inch medallions. I like “rustic” vegetables with a rough, thick cut. The reason will become apparent shortly.
Set the pan on to preheat over medium-high heat, and start the rice. My rice is NOT Uncle Ben’s. I’m a food snob, and I insist on good basmati rice. I prepare it with chicken broth instead of just water, and I spike it with salt and garlic powder (if not minced garlic.) This time I threw in a few onion wedges, too.
By the time I’ve got the rice going, the pan is hot enough. Sear the pork chops in olive oil, about 2 minutes per side. Pull 'em out of the pan and set them aside. Add a little more olive oil, and throw in the zucchini medallions with a little more kosher salt. About a minute per side so they’ll sear nicely. Take them out, set them aside too. You want them to be not-quite-done so they’ll crunch just a bit when you bite them. I did them in two batches to preserve the heat of the pan.
In with the carrots and onions after the zucchini’s out. Stir them up a bit, and then throw in either some chicken broth, some water, or a dash of white wine to deglaze the pan. I believe the onions & carrots cooked for about 6 minutes total – 1 minute uncovered with stirring, 5 minutes covered with the occasional stir.
That’s it! I cooked enough for 5, and with 3 people there were no leftovers. It must’ve been good. grin