Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pork chops with Polenta and Brussels Sprouts {and a giveaway!}

Life is busy.  
Sometimes you can barely get through your commute home, let alone put dinner on the table. 
Foodbuzz and American Express teamed up to select 20 bloggers to come up with a dinner with 6 ingredients or less. Through my participation in the Foodbuzz Tastemaker's Program, I was one of the selected bloggers.  Keep reading...this benefits you also.
When thinking of my dinner, I knew it had to include some meat (sorry vegetarians)  When I go out to eat, if there is pork on the menu, I'm bound to order it.  Chops, loin, ham, bacon....I love it all.  So pork would be my main ingredient.
On the side? We definitely need a vegetable.  Brussels Sprouts really can't catch a break.  As a kid you are told to eat your brussels sprouts.  I always thought they were served to torture people.  However, toss them with some more pork, this time in the form of pancetta cubes, and they are nothing but tasty.
Pork chops, brussels, pancetta cubes..I'm halfway to my ingredient max.
One more side dish to round out our meal.  I've really been liking polenta recently.  Polenta is made from yellow corn meal It has a smooth and creamy texture and it offers just a little something different.

Here are the six ingredients you need:
pork chops, enough to fed your group
1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts
3/4 cup pancetta cubes or (cooked and diced bacon slices, about 3)
1 Quart chicken broth
1 Cup polenta
3 Tbsp butter
(oil, salt, pepper, and water were free game)

For the pork chops:
Preheat your oven to 350.
Coat all sides of pork chop liberally with salt and pepper.
On your stove top, coat an oven safe pan with olive oil over medium heat.  Sear each side of your pork chops for about one minute.  After searing each side, put your pan with the chops directly in the oven.

For Polenta:
In a large, oven-safe saucepan bring all but one cup of the chicken broth to a boil.  (The reserved cup is for your brussel sprouts.)
Gradually add one cup polenta, whisking continuously.  Once cornmeal is added, cover the saucepan and place in the oven with your pork chops.  Cook for 35 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent lumps.  Remove from oven and stir in 3 tablespoons of butter.

Your pork chops are done when the internal temperature measures 145 degrees.   Remove from oven and let rest, covered for 5-10 minutes.

For Brussels Sprouts:
trim and halve brussel sprouts
Brown your pancetta cubes (or bacon) in a medium skillet over medium heat, remove to a paper towel lined plate.  Add another tablespoon olive oil to the pan.  Add brussels sprouts to the pan, season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 3 minutes to soften, then add your reserved cup of chicken broth.  Bring broth to a bubble, cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for 10 minutes, until tender.  Top with your pancetta and serve!

Dinner is served!
Now I promised this would benefit you. Not only do you have an idea for an easy dinner, but you have a chance to win $100 gift card from American Express!  
Looking for a new pair of boots for the fall?
A new sweater or coat to keep you warm??
A night out at your favorite restaurant when you don't feel like cooking???
As part of the Dinner @6 contest sponsored by Blue Cash Preferred,  American Express has provided me with a $100 gift card to give out to one lucky commenter.  Yes, that's right all you have to do is comment on this post, by September 30.  I will randomly select and announce a winner on October 3rd.  Click here for official rules.
Do you have a great dinner with only six-ingredients?  Let me know!  I'm looking forward to hearing from everyone.  Good luck...I"m off to eat!