Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beef - It's What's NOT For Dinnuh

I recently made 2 meals that were delish; neither meal included beef OR chicken.  The 1st was a pork recipe and the 2nd was a shrimp recipe (could sub scallops for the shrimp if you wanted).  These 2 recipes were taken from Giada de Laurentiis' "Everyday Italian," and the other was taken from Cooking Light magazine, respectively.  But I modified both of them somewhat, to my tastes, AND to make them a smidge healthier.  Happy eating!!

Pork Chops with Fennel and Caper Sauce - Serves 4 - off season and maybe the beginning of prep
1/4 c olive oil
4 boneless, skinless pork chops (should be at least 2 inches thick)
3/4t salt, plus more for seasoning
3/4t fresh ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
2 fennel bulbs with fronds, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced (not chopped!!)
1/3c chopped flat leaf parsley, plus 1/3 c for seasoning
1/2c dry white wine
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 lemon, zested
2 T capers, drained

In a large, heavy skillet, heat oil over high heat.  Season chops w/salt and pepper.  Add pork to pan and brown on both sides for 4 mins/side.  Remove the pork from the pan and cover loosely w/foil.   Set aside.

Add fennel, shallots, and 1/3 c parsley to the pan and cook over medium heat until they start to brown - about 5 minutes.  Add wine and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

Add the tomatoes and stir.  Add pork back into the pan, nestling the chops between the fennel and tomatoes.  Cook for approximately 12-15 minutes until the fennel is tender and the chops are done.

Place the pork on a serving dish.  To finish the sauce, add the lemon zest, 1/3 c parsley, capers, and salt/pepper.  Stir to combine and serve over pork.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi - Serves 4 - off season
1 c uncooked whole wheat orzo
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1/2 t salt
7 t unsalted butter, divided (I used Smart Balance Light here to save some cals/fat.  I also used less than 7t)
1 1/2 lb peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
2 t minced garlic (I used 3-4 cloves)
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 t black pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain.  Place orzo in medium bowl.  Stir in parsley and 1/4 t salt; cover and keep warm.

While orzo cooks, melt 1 T butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4t salt.  Add half of the shrimp to the pan; saute 2 mins or until almost done.  Transfer shrimp to a plate.  Melt 1 t butter in the pan and add the remaining shrimp; saute 2 mins or until almost done.  Transfer to plate (essentially, you work in 2 batches here).

Melt the remaining 1 T butter in the pan.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Stir in shrimp, lemon juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done. 

* I served the orzo with my char-grilled asparagus.  I could see this recipe being good w/peas in it, or even fresh spinach.  You could also sub out scallops for shrimp.  I topped each serving with fresh goat cheese and let it sit and melt on top of the hot rice.  2 of my girlfriends sprinkled on fat free feta and also enjoyed it, so either cheese is good on top :)

Finished pork chops


leftover orzo for lunch

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