Miss Macchiato, I accept your challenge to create a healthy and great-tasting dish in 30 mins or less!! Well Ok, it wasn’t really a challenge per se, more like a casual mention in her last article that dovetailed with what I was going to make for dinner tonight anyway. BUT A CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, EVEN UNKNOWINGLY, IS A CHALLENGE ISSUED!!!
So the recipe I chose was from Chili Pepper magazine. I originally was going to try to do this post while I was cooking and see if I could really wow the judges (of which there are none) by getting the whole thing done in 30 mins. But you will soon notice that there is no recipe listed here. That brings us to the first obstacle: the recipe isn’t online so I couldn’t cut and paste the stupid thing. That’s ok, I decided to post after the cooking was over, as long as I got that done in 30 mins I’ll be fine. Second obstacle, and I quote here: “Combine orange juice (2 cups), lime juice (1/3 cup) and brown sugar (1/3 cup) in heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, stirring often, about 20 mins or until syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup.” 2 cups plus of liquid to 1/2 cup in 20 mins? I’m thinking …. no. Not going to happen. Never does for me anyway. Ok, so lets make it a “weekday meal” kind of challenge but not a hard and fast 30 min kinda deal. Third obstacle: the recipe kinda sucks.
We were doing well in the beginning. While the orange juice mixture was boiling I made the salsa, the quick and dirty version of which is this:
- 1 (11oz) can mandarin oranges, drained and sliced in half
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup diced radishes
- 2 T finely chopped cilantro
It called for the oranges to be sliced once, but I did it a few times because the texture of mandarin oranges can get kind of slug-like when the pieces are too big. I looked ahead and noticed that I was going to put half of the orange juice brown sugar reduction in this as well, and I didn’t think the red onion and radishes would be enough to counteract that sweetness, so I diced up half a jalapeno and threw it in there too. This tasted nice and bright and lovely and looked like this..
For the pork chops, they were simply broiled 3 mins on a side, and brushed with the glaze after flipping. The rest of the glaze went in to the salsa, which turned it into a saccarine-sweet mess. But the saving grace is this, before the wheels came off the cart, we had a pretty decent dish. AND without all the reduction crap you can EASILY make this in less than 30 mins. SO I DECLARE THEORETICAL VICTORY!!!!!