Easy weeknight dinner: Pork chops with crunchy jicama mint salad recipe


A simple sheet-pan dinner can be a weeknight warrior when it comes to time-saving techniques that still boast big flavor and minimal effort. “Good Morning America” ​​tapped three-time New York Times bestselling cookbook author Danielle Walker for a healthy, hearty pork chop dinner recipe offering both flavor and time saving.

Walker, who regularly whips up grain-free and gluten-free recipes for any occasion, shared her simple recipe below from her largest cookbook to-date, “Healthy in a Hurry” — available Sept. 6.

This paleo-approved dish, she says, is inspired by her sunny California lifestyle and her embrace of diverse global cuisine.

Lemongrass Ginger Pork Chops with Crunchy Jicama and Mint Salad

“Pork chops can overcook and turn out dry if you’re not careful, but for this dish, I marinate the chops in a super-aromatic, sweet-and-salty sauce and then quickly cook them under the broiler so the top gets crispy and browned but the inside stays tender,” Walker wrote alongside the recipe. “Served with a cooling and crisp salad and lots of fresh herbs, this is a delicious combination of flavors and textures.”

servings: 4

prep time: 25 minutes, plus 20 minutes marinating time

cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

Marinade

1 stalk lemongrass

3 pitted Medjool dates (see note)

1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1/4 cup coconut aminos

1 medium shallot

2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops (about 8 ounces each)

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

salad

1 small jicama, peeled

2 carrots, peeled and julienned

1 English cucumber, seeded and julienned

4 green onions, white and tender green parts, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon avocado oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped toasted blanched almonds

Directions

Trim the dark green tops and woody base from the lemongrass and remove the tough outer leaves. Cut the stalk into 1/2-inch pieces.

To make the marinade, in a blender, combine the lemongrass, dates, ginger, fish sauce, coconut aminos, shallot, vinegar and pepper flakes and blend on high speed for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth. Stir in the cilantro. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the marinade for the salad. Place the pork chops in a single layer in a shallow dish and use a fork to pierce them all over. Add half of the remaining marinade to the dish and turn the chops to coat. Cover the dish and let the pork chops marinate at room temperature, turning occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the salad. Using a spiralizer with the smallest blade, cut the jicama into thin noodles. In a bowl, toss the noodles with the carrots, cucumber, green onions, and mint. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Position an oven rack in the top slot in the oven and preheat the broiler.

Using tongs, remove the pork chops from the marinade, scraping off any excess marinade, and place them on a large sheet pan. Discard the marinade.

Generously season both sides of each chop with salt and pepper. Broil the chops, turning once halfway through, for 5 to 6 minutes total, until they are just cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a chop reads 135 degrees.

Drizzle the salad with the reserved 3 tablespoons marinade, the oil, and lime juice and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, arrange the salad and chops on a platter and top the salad with the almonds and the pork chops with the mint. Serve remaining dressing on the side.

Note: If your dates are dry or hard, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes to soften before blending.

Make It Ahead:

Make the marinade and store in the fridge for up to seven days.

Marinate the chops in the fridge for up to three days for a more intense flavor.

Assemble the salad without the dressing and store in the fridge for up to two days.

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