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This Old Chef: Blog & Recipes

Pork Chops and Wild Rice with Mushroom Sauce and Zucchini

Posted on December 10, 2017 with 0 comments


Yes.  That’s the list.  But it in no way fully describes last night's dining experience.

Big sale on pork chops... big, thick, gorgeous pork chops...

And last weekend, I'd splurged on wild rice at the restaurant supply store.

And I had two zucchini from the test kitchen.

I also had some mushroom sauce from a chicken schnitzel dinner a few days ago...


Into a sauce pan, I poured 2 cups of water and added 1/3 C kosher salt, a pinch of sugar, 4 roughly chopped scallions, a few peppercorns, and a few sprigs of rosemary.  I heated this mixture until the salt and sugar dissolved, then took it off the heat and added a few ice cubes to cool it down.

Once it was cool, I put it in a ziplock and added the two pork chops… sealed the bag… and put the bag in a bowl and the bowl in the fridge.  This brine event went on for 4 hours (I flipped the bag every hour or so, but that’s not totally necessary).  Half an hour or so before I was ready to cook those beautiful chops, I took them out, patted them dry, and let them warm up a bit.

While the chops came up to room temperature, I made the wild rice, using my preferred variation on the pasta method:  I put some wild rice in a pan, added salt and way too much water, brought it to a boil, lowered the heat, and simmered until almost done.  I always start checking at about 30 minutes, when the rice is almost ready but still a bit too firm.  Then I drained the water and put the rice back in the pot… covered… and let it steam.  To this I added some minced shallots that I’d sautéed in butter.

In case I haven’t told you about the mushroom sauce yet…  Mmmmm…

I sautéed a few shallots in butter, added white wine and chicken stock and, after that cooked down a bit, added a heaping tablespoon of my duxelles…

When it all felt ready - a splash of brandy and another of cream - Wow!  To make this into the sauce I wanted for the pork, I sautéed some garlic and finely minced rosemary and added them to the sauce…

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!!!!

I diced the zucchini and minced some onions, sautéed the onions in EVOO until very soft but not brown, added the zucchini and cooked until BARELY soft.  (Please… Do not overcook zucchini!  It turns a delicious vegetable into something watery and tasteless.)  Added salt and pepper.

Whilst doing all of this, I slowly preheated my trusty cast iron, raising the heat gradually until it was Scary Hot!  A slick of EVOO… and in went the chops.  Left them alone for 5 minutes… flipped… cooked another 5… then put them in a 350 oven for 10 minutes or so, until the temp was about 145.  (Don’t worry, a little pink is just fine these days.)

I suggest letting the pork rest a bit while you make the zucchini, but timing meals is very personal.  I’d just say that while you don’t want the veg to sit too long… the meat can!

On very hot plates… a chop, some rice, some zucchini, and the mushroom garlic rosemary sauce draped over the meat…

You’re welcome!!!!!