fragrant couscous with panfried pork chops

I remember a few years back, sitting in the kitchen with my cousin Peanut one morning & having a discussion about nutrition & diet. She said something then that will forever stick with me. What she said was, that if you sit & take a good look at food & colour, you will notice that all the things that are generally considered to be unhealthy are all shade of beige. Pasta. Bread. Potatoes. Chips. Etc.

the couscousShe then continued on by saying that the more colourful our plate, the healthier we eat. Just think about all those beautiful colours out there. Pomegranate. Avocado. Plums. Cherries. Lemons. The colours are endless & all of them have some amazing nutritional value to offer.

the pomegranate The point I’m trying to make is, bring colour to your meals. Lots of it.

pistachiosI still can’t get over the purples & greens of the pistachios. I can’t help myself, they are beautiful. As for Mel, I’m still trying to work out what inspired him to make this dish. I can’t figure out whether he was drawn to the middle-eastern undertone brought in by the spices. Or perhaps he was looking at it from an angle of trying to be healthy. Or maybe, if like me, he’s secretly a colour junky. It could very well be all three, maybe I should just ask.

the feastWhat we’re sharing now are these mouth watering, pan fried pork chops accompanied with the fragrant couscous with pomegranate, pistachio & sumak. One word…. yum.
Ingredients, couscous: serves 8
– 500g couscous
– 300g pomegranate seeds
– 150g pistachios, lightly toasted
– 1 onion, diced very finely
– 5 spring onions, diced very finely
– 2 red bell pepper, diced very finely
– 1 fennel bulb, diced very finely
– chicken stock
– 1.5 tsp ground coriander
– 1 tsp sumak
– 1/3 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 lemon, zest & juice
– 1 orange, juiced
– 8 tbs olive oil
– 2 tbs of fresh parsley, chopped
– 1 tbs of fresh mint, chopped
– salt & pepper to taste

Directions, couscous:
1. when dicing the onion, pepper, fennel & spring onion, try to dice them to the size of the couscous grains.
2. in a large pot, add 6 tbs olive oil on medium heat, add the onion & pepper & cook for approx. 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. next, add the fennel & cook for a further 3 minutes.
4. add the spring onion & cook for another minute, then add the spices, lemon zest, salt & pepper.
5. next, look at the package instructions for cooking your couscous. For the amount of water the package specifies, add that amount of chicken stock to the pot of vegetables. Bring to a boil & as soon as it reaches boiling point, remove it from the heat & add in the couscous. Cover the pot & let it sit for exactly 5 minutes.
6. Using two forks, fluffy the mixture until steam no longer rises. Remember to be delicate with it so as not to turn the couscous into mush.
7. after fluffing, stir in the olive oil, pistachios, pomegranate, lemon & orange juice, parsley, mint, salt & pepper.
8. set aside until ready to serve.

Ingredients, pork chops:
– 6 pork good quality pork chops, roughly 2cm thick
– 240g flour
– 2 tsp mustard powder
– 2 tsp onion powder
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp cayenne
– 1 tsp thyme
– ??? salt
– ??? pepper
– 6 tbs vegetable oil

Directions, pork chops:
1. mix the flour, spices & salt & pepper thoroughly. One by one, lay each pork chop in the flour mixture & press it into the flour, flip it over & repeat for the other side. Set the pork chop aside & repeat the process until all are covered.
2. add the oil to a skillet & bring the temp to medium-high heat. Cook the chops, two at a time (more or less depending upon the size of your skillet, make sure not to overlap). Cook the chops approx 10 minutes, ensuring to only flip them once. (5 min per side)
3. serve hot & accompany with the couscous.

…for more recipes from us, check out our archives.


3 thoughts on “fragrant couscous with panfried pork chops

  1. The photos are fantastic Lauren…and tell Mel I am interested in eating it right now!!!!

    • I’ll pass on that message. He’s taking your suggestion by the way, he will be writing one of our posts this week. I think he’s actually excited about it!

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