The box arrived earlier this week with my mystery ingredients for the SunRice Recipe Box Challenge. Sarah from Love Swah posted her completed challenge earlier in the month – a delicious looking Oven Baked Red Wine and Chorizo Risotto. She had to work with SunRice White Long Grain Rice, chorizo, mushroom, peas, tinned tomatoes, red wine and Parmesan cheese – the ingredients she was sent by Cinti from My Poppet, who did a rather lovely looking Malaysian Coconut Chicken Curry Rice for her challenge.
So naturally, I was hoping for beer and bratwurst.
I lifted the lid.
For a few seconds I simply took it all in, then I got to work.
“What the hell is that?” I asked Tracey, pointing at some sort of bulb. With my pre-operation health kick I’ve been eating a lot of Asian greens lately and it looked a bit like bok choi on steroids.
Fortunately, there was a list.
“Fennel,” said Tracey. She’d bought the ingredients.
I nodded. Some would say sagely or wisely or absently. The last group would score the points.
“And what the hell is fennel?”
I was off to a fantastic start.
But then that’s what this challenge is all about. Stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying new vegetables. Is it a vegetable? I don’t even know.
Along with the fennel, the other ingredients I would be working with were pork, goats cheese, lemon, tomatoes and zucchini.
“What do you think?” asked Tracey after I’d spent nearly an hour consulting the Google. “Any ideas?”
I confess I’d sort of been hoping I could type the ingredients in and it would come back with a one-pot wonder which would blow my socks off. Only I rather quickly rediscovered the YouTube tab on my screen and got lost in snippets of Big Bang Theory.
“I’m thinking,” I lied, trying to hide her view of my screen, “I do a full meal. Not one recipe: a couple.” This was the first I’d heard of this plan, but I liked the sound of it. “Like sausages, potatoes and a salad, only with pork, rice and that vegetable which looks like bagpipes.” Perfect for winter.
And, despite the rules of the game stating I only had to choose two of the ingredients I was sent to cook with, that’s what I’ve done: picked everything. I mean, otherwise where does the word challenge come into play? I’ve also added a few pantry staples, to boost the flavour.
Then, to make it more fun for me and easier for anyone who wants to try it, I’ve combined the three recipes I’m using so you have one list of ingredients and one time line of steps to follow. I can also tell you with confidence, since as well as making the three recipes individually to see if I actually like them, I’ve completed the whole thing twice now, it takes almost exactly 25 minutes from pulling out your pots and pans to serving up the meal. Less than 10 steps, 25 minutes and a pantry-staple-heavy ingredients list …the perfect weeknight winter warmer dish.
Seasoned Pork Chops with Zucchini & Goats Cheese Rice And Tomato & Fennel Salad
You will need:
SunRice Jasmine Rice, 1 cup
Pork chops, 4 of, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed
Goats cheese, 100gms
Fennel bulb, one small
Tomatoes, two medium
Zucchini, 1 medium
Green capsicum, half a small one
Olive oil, 3 tablespoons (2 for salad dressing, 1 for cooking pork)
Chicken stock, 3 cups
Milk, 2 tablespoons
Lemon, 2 tablespoons juice, 1 tablespoon lemon rind
Cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon
Garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Fennel seeds, 2 tablespoons, roughly chopped
Salt, 1 1/4 teaspoon
Black pepper, 1 teaspoon, freshly ground
Salt and pepper, to taste
STEP ONE Season pork chops on both sides with fennel seeds, lemon rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
STEP TWO In a medium saucepan, combine the rice and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. You’ll want to let the rice simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. While it’s simmering….
STEP THREE Core the tomatoes and cut into wedges. Remove the top of the fennel and thinly slice the bulb crosswise. Likewise, slice the capsicum into thin strips. Toss the tomatoes and fennel and capsicum into a bowl ready for the dressing.
STEP FOUR Roughly chop or break up goats cheese in a dozen smaller pieces, and grate your zucchini. Set aside.
STEP FIVE Mix your olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix into the fennel & tomato mix. Salad done.
STEP SIX Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chops and cook until browned and just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on cut and thickness. After you turn the pork, remove the rice from the heat and allow to sit while the pork finishes cooking. When pork is cooked, transfer to a plate. Dish done.
STEP SEVEN Briefly fluff up your rice with a fork before stirring in the grated zucchini, cheese, and garlic powder. Add milk and mix again. Salt & pepper to taste. Rice done.
STEP EIGHT Serve either plated or, as we tend to do more and more often, in the middle of the table for everyone to grab however much they want of each dish.
And there we have it – my SunRice Recipe Box Challenge is done. Did I like what I ended up cooking? The hint is in the blurb. I guarantee I wouldn’t have cooked it three times all up if I didn’t like what I was eating.
Next up with the SunRice Recipe Box Challenge is Fat Mum Slim.
Think you can do better with this list of ingredients? Short grain SunRice rice, pork, goats cheese, lemon, tomatoes, zucchini and fennel. I’d love to hear your ideas for what you would have cooked.
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This post is sponsored by SunRice
If you try this recipe let us know what you think! 😀