"Easy, weeknight meal" is not something that is in my culinary vocabulary. I am notoriously bad at judging how long a recipe will take to make, and besides, I'd much rather turn out something with the potential to be amazing than something merely ordinary, just to have it done quickly. Even when I try recipes that are billed as being fast and simple, they never seem to come together as painlessly as promised, so most of the time I don't even bother seeking them out.
However, when I spotted a recipe for pork chops, pounded out into a thin paillard and quickly grilled, over some charred green onions (a preparation I had discovered a fondness for when I sampled them at Mercat a la Planxa during last year's Restaurant Week), dressed with a bright, citrus-y vinaigrette in Serious Eats' "Dinner Tonight" column, it spoke to me. I filed it away to Pinterest, and waited until I could get the ingredients on sale. The stars fell into alignment this week, so I was able to give this meal a chance at long last.
For once, this was a dinner that lived up to its billing: the meal came together with near-lightning speed, so much so that it beat out the brown rice we had put on to cook as an accompaniment by over twenty minutes. All the components cooked in the same pan as well, which is always an added bonus, though we managed to flood our kitchen with smoke, due to our woefully inefficient ventilation system. We're hoping to get a grill sometime this summer, so when that happens, we'll be able to prepare this meal outside and save ourselves the worry over accidentally setting off our smoke detector.
This recipe would make a perfect summer meal anyway; the orange-vinaigrette is tangy and light, almost refreshing, and it is a perfect foil for the silky grilled scallion and the smokey pork. I'm looking forward to enjoying this again on a warm, lovely evening sometime soon.
Pork Paillards with Orange Marmalade Vinaigrette
adapted from Serious Eats
1 lb. thin-cut boneless pork chops (about 4)
2 bunches of scallions, roots trimmed but left whole
1/2 c. orange juice
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1/3 c. canola oil
1/3 c. olive oil
1. Season the chops with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar and cream. Whisk in the marmalade, then add the canola oil in a slow stream at first while whisking constantly to create a smooth dressing. Continue whisking in the rest of the oil, taste for seasoning, and set aside.
3. Prepare a grill or heat a grill pan over high heat. Rub the scallions with olive oil and grill until charred and soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove to a platter and add the pork to the grill; cook until well-marked and firm, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter to rest for a moment.
4. Drizzle the pork and onions with the vinaigrette, and serve immediately with brown rice.