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fennel brined pork chops with roasted root vegetables

I thought I couldn’t possibly love Ina Garten any more…and then I found this website and learned I can make fun of her too. My favorite recipe of hers is fairly simple: roasted root vegetables. I pair them with a fennel-brined pork chop Cooking Light recipe. You can use the links to get their original recipes, and I’m summing up my adaptations here too.

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fennel-brined pork chops
serves 4

4 thick-cut pork chops
fennel bulb with fronds
1 tbs. fennel seeds
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. kosher salt
water & ice
black pepper

Boil water in small saucepan (about a cup, eyeball it) with chopped fennel fronds (save bulb for roasting later), seeds, salt, and sugar. Let cool and add it to a big glass bowl with 2 1/2 cups water and 1 cup ice. Add pork chops and let sit in fridge for 4 hours. Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Heat iron skillet over med-high heat. Crack pepper on both sides of pork chops. Sear on first side, flip and put in oven to finish cooking for about 10-15 minutes. You can tell they are done when they feel like the back side of your hand (the spot between you thumb and forefinger bones when you make a fist).

Pictured here is just carrots. Same principle.

roasted root vegetables

red potatoes
butternut squash
olive oil
your favorite seasoning mix

Cut all veggies into chunks, toss in olive oil and pepper (I also use Trader Joe’s “21 Seasoning Salute”) and cook on a baking sheet at 425 deg F for 35-40 minutes. Toss once or twice in the middle of cooking.

Image Credit (pork chops):

Editor’s Note: This post is a part of Life As Mom’s Ultimate Recipe Swap and Real Food Wednesday