In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving my goal is to cook satisfying meals without spending too much time in the kitchen. That’s how I came across this recipe for double-fennel pork chops. I have a recipe for pork tenderloin with braised fennel that I adore, but it’s too labor intensive for my mood this week. Pan-seared chops seemed like a cheater’s version—almost all the same ingredients in half the time.
Be sure to buy fennel that still has some of the fronds on top. It’s not just a pretty garnish—it enhances the flavor of anise. I was tempted to add the garlic and white wine that my other pork and fennel recipe calls for, but refrained since this was my first time making this recipe. If I do add them next time I would add the garlic near the end of browning the fennel and substitute a dry white wine for the last ¼ cup of broth. This time the only change I made was to squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the fennel at the end of cooking. Lemon just brightens the other flavors up a bit, and I would definitely use it again.
I paired this meal with steamed broccoli and purple potatoes. I steam my broccoli with a little metal steamer in the bottom of the pan and I drizzle some oil, salt, and pepper on before cooking. That way when they’re done cooking, they are ready to eat! The purple potatoes I just couldn’t resist. I treated them like fingerlings—I cut them in half or quarters, depending on the size, and boiled them until just cooked. Then I drained them and put them back in the pan with a couple of tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley.
Although I enjoyed this dish and found it easy enough to prepare, I missed the tenderness of the tenderloin. That said, this is a great, easy weeknight meal. Enjoy!
Fine Cooking Issue 96