Today marks the start of the Chinese New Year – the year of the Pig. I must confess, I had these easy Asian-Inspired Pork Chops on my meal planner long before I realized the significance of the day and the year. Is it in poor form to consume Pork today? I honestly don’t know. If it is, my deepest apologies to those I may have insulted. Such was never my intention.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the largest Asian group living in the United States are Chinese. That translates into over two-million people who identified themselves as Chinese. While the Chinese New Year is not a Federal Holiday in the States, California did elect to acknowledge the significance of the day to the Chinese people in 2015. It makes sense since the largest population of Chinese outside Asia are in California, and most of them call San Francisco home. We have always wanted to attend the parade in San Francisco. It is said to be one of the most amazing in the world. So what has stopped us? Crowds. We are not fans of big crowds.
However you and yours choose to observe this New Year of the Pig, we wish you much joy, health and happiness.
Baked Sweet and Sour Pork Chops
3 cups Rice, cooked
20 oz canned Pineapple, chunks
1 1/4 cups Ketchup
1 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 tablespoonVinegar, Cider
3 medium Carrots
1/2 Bell Pepper, Red or Green
2 tablespoonsVegetable Oil
6 Pork Loin Chops, 1-inch thick
Start steaming rice. A cup and a half of uncooked rice will yield 3 cups of steamed rice. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Open pineapple. Drain can, reserve pineapple juice. Set aside
Cut carrots into 1/4-inch chunks. Set aside
Cut bell pepper into chunks. Set aside.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large saucepan, combine reserved pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar; cook 5 minutes, until hot. Add pineapple chunks, carrots, and green pepper; remove from heat.
In a large skillet, heat oil; add chops and brown.
In a shallow baking dish, arrange chops; spread pineapple-vegetable mixture over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25-35 minutes, until chops are done and vegetables are crisp-tender.
Spread rice out on a serving platter. Top with Sweet and Sour Pork Chops. Serve and enjoy.