SAGE CRUSTED PORK CHOPS OVER CREAMY MUSHROOM ORZO

SAGE CRUSTED PORK CHOPS OVER CREAMY MUSHROOM ORZO


Chops:

2 – 2 ½ lbs. pork chops, about 1” thick center cut

½ - 1 tsp. salt

½ - 1 tsp. black pepper

2 eggs

¾ cup fresh sage leaves, stem and chopped

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

3 Tbs. olive oil


Orzo:

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

8 oz. shitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced

2 Tbs. fresh sage, chopped

½ cup raw orzo pasta

1 ¾ cups chicken stock

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup parmesan cheese

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper


Garnish:

1 Tbs. olive oil

1/3 cup whole sage leaves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper.  The exact amount will depend on the number of chops and thickness.


Make a breading station by beating the eggs in a pie plate or shallow baking dish and combine the chopped sage and panko in another dish.


Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.


Coat each chop in the eggs and then in the sage breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere.  Place in the hot oil and cook 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.  Place them on a foil-lined sheet pan and place in the oven until they have an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees, about 8-10 minutes for thick chops.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


To make the orzo, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan drippings from the pork chops.  Cook the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and sage to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms release their moisture.  Add the dry orzo to the pan and continue to cook for 3-4 more minutes, stirring, until the orzo is golden and toasty.


Add 1 cup of the stock and continue to cook, stirring, under the moisture is absorbed.  Add the remaining stock, continue stirring until all moisture is again absorbed.  Add the cream, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper stirring until. The orzo is coated, creamy, and glossy.


In a separate skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the sage leaves and cook until deep green and crispy, about 2 minutes.


Serve the pork chops over the creamy orzo and garnish with fried sage leaves.

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