Lemongrass Pork chops with Spaghetti Squash and Garlicky Greens

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This is my new favorite way to eat spaghetti squash.  Hands down.  I modified this recipe from one I found in a friend’s magazine last summer while working at the CSA pick up.  I have made it twice now.  I have one spaghetti squash left in the basement…and 1 package of pork.  I just might be making it a 3rd time here before too long.  It’s that good.

I was bummed out that I didn’t have any spinach, fresh or frozen in the house today (and I was at the grocery store this afternoon–Argh!), so we did without the greens, but I missed them.  You can use any other green that substitutes well for spinach, including collards, beet greens, bok choy, or Swiss chard.

Lemongrass Pork Chops with Spaghetti Squash, Peanut Sauce, and Garlicky Greens

1 large spaghetti squash

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and place cut side down on a greased baking sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 35-45 minutes, or until the spaghetti squash is soft.

2 pork chops

Place pork chops in a single layer in a large dish.  Set aside and prepare the marinade.

Marinade:

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground lemongrass

½ teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons soy sauce

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Pour over pork chops and refrigerate for 30 minutes, then flip the chops over and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

Preheat skillet and add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan.  Place the pork chops in the pan and sear on each side for about 5 minutes, or until the marinade begins to caramelize on the chops.  Pour the marinade over the chops and cook until it reduces by about half.  Place pork chops, with marinade, in an oven safe baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

While pork chops are baking in the oven, prepare the peanut sauce.

Sauce:

¼ cup peanut butter

½ cup coconut milk (lite coconut milk is fine to use)

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for the first few minutes.  Allow to cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly.  If the sauce thickens too much for your liking, add up to 1/4 cup water while cooking.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

Just before serving, prepare the spinach.

1 large bunch spinach, washed and roughly chopped (frozen will also work)

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in skillet.  Add garlic and cook over medium-low heat until straw-colored.  Reduce heat to low.  Add ginger and spinach and stir gently.  Add lid and cook until spinach reduces in volume by half, stirring occasionally.  Add salt just before serving.

Use a fork to pull the spaghetti squash strands apart.  Pile spaghetti squash on a plate, place a pork chop next to it, and cover both with the peanut sauce.  Sprinkle with a few chopped peanuts.  Serve with garlicky spinach on the side.

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