Pork Chops with Spanish Rice; eating around the world

Spanish Rice is another of those dishes that has been around forever and may or may not have any relationship at all to anything ever actually made in Spain.

Growing up in a small town in the Midwest, if we were told something was Spanish or Italian or French we just accepted that as fact without knowing anything more.

The only Google we had was the public library in the next town and no one cared enough to check out the authenticity of a recipe.

Life was simple: if we liked it we at it and mother cooked it again. If we didn’t like it we still ate it (as one did in those days) but mother never made it again.

I know now that both Spanish and Mexican cuisines have recipes using rice cooked with tomatoes: paella and arroz rojo respectively, and there are probably hundreds of permutations of those ingredients with many regional and personal additions.

This is mine – partially from my mother, partially from my own tastes.

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Pork Chops with Spanish Rice

This is an easy, skillet dinner…. everything cooked together. I use brown Basmati rice in this dish. Mine cooks in 20 minutes and I like the healthy aspect and nutty flavor of brown rice. You could substitute plain white rice or your favorite. Adjust cooking time if needed.. 

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Skillet

Ingredients

Scale
  • 24 pork chops, depending on size, (12oz, 360gr boneless, 16oz, 480gr bone-in) 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup (3.3oz, 95gr) brown rice, quick-cooking 
  • 1 3/4 cup (15oz, 450gr) whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup (6oz, 180gr) frozen peas no sauce 
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • water or chicken stock, 1/4 – 1/2 cup 

Instructions

  • Heat oil in deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. 
  • Add pork chops and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes each. Remove to a plate.
  • Add chili powder, paprika, onion, pepper, celery and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. 
  • Open tomatoes and drain into a bowl. 
  • Chop the tomatoes and drain again. 
  • Add drained tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and rice to pan.
  • Measure the drained liquid and add enough water or chicken stock to equal 1 cup (or however much liquid your rice package calls for). 
  • Pour this over the rice/vegetables in the skillet and stir well to combine.
  • Lay the pork chops on top of the rice and cover. 
  • Reduce heat to simmer and cook until rice is done. Stir occasionally while cooking. 
  • When the rice is almost done, stir in peas. 
  • Serve from the skillet.

Notes

Frozen peas are a great addition to your freezer. They don’t need thawing before adding to dishes and are great for skillet dinners and stir-fries

Keywords: pork chops, Spanish rice, skillet dinner

Pork Chops with Spanish Rice

I should add that, while recipes from Mediterranean countries weren’t questioned because no one knew any better, recipes from Scandinavian countries were debated endlessly as to the most authentic ingredients, cooking methods, appearance, etc. I may not have ever eaten lutefisk and my mother, who was of German descent, wouldn’t allow it in the house, I still knew how it was made and the best way to prepare it according to the old traditions.

My father, whose parents were from Norway, wouldn’t touch it.

I would try it now, if offered a chance.

Traveling, and living in other countries offers many opportunities to expand our palates.

But there are limits.

We are all products, more or less, of our early years. My family ate liver, which I love, but not kidneys, which I can’t bring myself to try. There is no logical reason for that. I also don’t eat tongue, brains or heart.

When I still lived in the U.S, I ate squirrel and raccoon and alligator – none of which we have on this side of the pond. Okay, I’ve heard rumors of squirrels, and I saw one once in Spain, but you get the picture.

Those early meals made our lunch yesterday seem almost retro for me. I remember going to ‘hunt meals’ in the fall when I was young and dating hunters. This lunch was a French friend celebrating the end of the hunting season here. We had 2 different favorites for the main course: civet de lièvre (hare with blood sauce) and palombe (dove).

Both were delicious…..But if you are just looking for another retro pork recipe: Swiss-Style Pork Chops.

Comments 5

  1. I grew up on my maternal grandmother’s Haggis in the US until the FDA got involved and changed the law. Black pudding as well though here, many call it blood sausage but either way, you can’t do that anymore either. I used to have beef tongue and borscht when I would stay with my aunt and uncle in NYC (he was a ‘Russian Jew’) and Steak and Kidney pie at my ‘veddy british’ paternal grandmother’s. I will never eat rabbit or dove though. We’ve had buns as pets. We don’t eat our pets which is why I would make a terrble farmer. Hubs has had alligator though I have not. And the thought of eating squirrel only reminds me of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation:

    Clark: [a squirrel is loose in the house] Where is Eddie? He usually eats these goddam things.

    Cousin Catherine Johnson: Not recently, Clark. He read that squirrels were high in cholesterol.

    🙂

    • I’ve eaten haggis – and was grateful for the Scotch that preceded it lol…. Actually, I liked it. And black pudding is still part of British and Irish breakfasts, and common here as well. And tripe and just about every other bit of any animal.
      Squirrel was very common when I was growing up… anyone and everyone would hunt them. And, for the record, it was hare not rabbit lol Hare is a gourmet treat; rabbit is just rabbit.

  2. Your lunch with your French hunting friend was something you would never come across in Australia. Such a cultural divide when it comes to hunting…enormous amount of veganism in Australia

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