Asian flavors enhance dish of pork chops and kale


April 26, 2006|By JOE GRAY..

When a bag of kale showed up on the doorstep, courtesy of our neighbors departing on an unexpected trip, it raised the age-old question: What to do? What to do?

Somehow Asian flavors came to mind, a departure in our house where almost everything has a Mediterranean influence. With ginger root and a few other flavorings, this dish quickly came together. Pork chops were in the fridge, so they became the protein - but chicken would be a delicious substitute.

Joe Gray writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe and analysis.

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Pork and Kale With Pan-Asian Flavors

Serves 4 -- Total time: 31 minutes

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted, ground (see note)

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt (divided use)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 boneless pork loin chops

1 bunch kale, stemmed

2 tablespoons canola oil (divided use)

1 piece (2 inches long) ginger root, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon sesame oil

juice from 1/2 lime

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted (see note)

Mix together the cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper in a small bowl; sprinkle over both sides of chops. Set aside. Rinse kale; drain lightly. Place kale in Dutch oven or stockpot; cover. Cook over medium heat until wilted, about 6 minutes, adding water if needed so kale does not burn.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a skillet; add ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chops; cook until browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Turn; cook until just cooked through. Drain kale in colander; chop roughly. Heat remaining tablespoon of canola oil and the sesame oil in same Dutch oven over medium heat. Add kale; cook, stirring, to heat through and coat with oil, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Add lime juice to skillet with the pork chops, stirring up browned bits. Turn chops to coat with the juice. Divide kale among 4 plates; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Top each plate with 1 chop. Drizzle any remaining juice over chops.

Note: Toast cumin seeds or sesame seeds separately in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove from hot pan immediately.

Per serving: 240 calories, 16 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram carbohydrate, 23 grams protein, 394 milligrams sodium, trace fiber

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