Begonia Colomar has agreed to contribute her culinary talents to A Rockridge Life. Ms. Colomar was raised in the Basque country of Spain. Her nuanced palate, which she cultivated in the Spanish countryside of her childhood, is obvious in the impeccable flavors she is able conjure with fresh, everyday ingredients. We can’t all sit down at her table each night, but we may now strive to replicate such an experience in our own homes through her thoughtful recipes. Without further ado, I present Ms. Colomar:
Galloping Flavours: Braised Pork Chop with Saffron Chorizo Orzo and Onion Marmalade
by Begonia Colomar
Serves 2 (lovers)
two 1″ cut Pork Chops
For the Rub:
1 tsp whole coriander
1/2 tsp whole white pepper
1/4 tsp whole fenugreek
1/4 tsp whole cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Bring pork chops to room temp approximately 20 minutes prior to braising. Generously salt them (Maldon is highly recommended). Combine the herbs and spices and then grind them. A spare or carefully cleaned coffee grinder can be used for this purpose. A mortar and pestle works too but requires more elbow grease. Pat the pork chops generously on both sides with the herb and spice rub. Set the pork chops aside and keep at room temperature while preparing the marmalade.
For the Onion Marmalade:
3 yellow onions /peeled,halved and sliced
1 shallot /peeled,halved and sliced
3 tbsp brown sugar
pinch freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Heat oil and butter in a skillet. Add the onions, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook on very high heat while stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add tarragon and continue to cook on high heat for an additional 5 minutes. Do not allow onions to boil or burn.
For the Orzo:
1 cup orzo
1/2 yellow onion /minced
1 garlic clove /minced
1/4 tsp Spanish saffron threads
3 cups vegetable stock
3 large whole sage leaves
2 inch cube Spanish chorizo halved and thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 375.
Add a bit of olive oil, just enough to barely coat the pan (approximately 1/2 tbsp) to an oven-proof frying pan. Heat the oil until you see smoke forming.
Add the pork chops and sear 2 minutes per side on high heat. Cover the pan with an oven-proof lid or tin foil and place in the oven. Let the pork chops cook in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
While the pork chops are in the oven, heat the oil for the orzo in a medium size pot. Add onions and leeks and cook on medium high heat until caramel color, then add garlic. Add the orzo and saffron to the mix and stir constantly for approximately 2 minutes.
Add the stock and salt and let simmer at medium high heat for 10 -12 minutes or until the orzo has absorbed the stock and has a creamy texture.
While the orzo is cooking remove the pork chops from the oven and let sit, still covered for 5 minutes before serving.
Keep stirring the orzo. When the stock has been completely absorbed, add the sage and chorizo. Turn off the heat, and serve the orzo very hot.
Place the pork chops atop the hot orzo, and spoon the onion marmalade on the side.
This meal will pair deliciously with a full-bodied Chardonnay.