3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 6-ounce box rice pilaf mix, such as Near East brand
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 1-inch-thick center-cut pork loin chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup chicken stock or broth
2 cups trimmed and chopped arugula
15 to 20 fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
In a medium pot over high heat, combine 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 3/4 cups water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Add the rice and flavor packet to the water. Stir to combine, reduce the heat, and cook for 18 minutes, covered.
While the rice is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for the chops. Add 2 tablespoons of the EVOO. Season the chops with salt and pepper, then add to the hot skillet. Cook the chops for 5 minutes on each side.
Transfer the chops to a platter and cover with foil. Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of EVOO and the onions, thyme, rosemary, and garlic, then saute for 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar, honey, and chicken stock. Cook until the liquids have reduced by half.
While the glaze is reducing, finish the rice pilaf. Add the arugula and basil to the cooked rice, stirring with a fork to fluff the rice and combine the greens at the same time.
Once the balsamic glaze has reduced by half, turn off the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cold butter.
Stir and shake the pan until the butter melts. Add the chops to the pan and coat them in the balsamic glaze.
Serve the glazed chops alongside the arugula-basil rice pilaf.
I have no complaints about this meal. I would advise, however, to not use Aldi brand rice pilaf mix. I did change the fresh thyme to dried, but I didn't change anything else. It was delicious. Try it!