Monday, May 21, 2012

Pork Florentine

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A classic with a twist. "Florentine" is a term that's used in the culinary world as a dish involving spinach and cream sauce. A popular dish is Chicken Florentine but this time, I decided to prepare a twist using pork. This Pork Florentine has a rich cream sauce made with fresh spinach, onion, garlic, chicken broth, cream, a touch of nutmeg and a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese. The velvety sauce enrobes seasoned pork chops in such a perfect way that you may not ever want the chicken version ever again...

I'm a big fan of America's Test Kitchen and I recently picked up their Simple Weeknight Favorites cookbook. This recipe is from that book and I tweaked the recipe just a little to save some time, as well as adapt it as a gluten free version. To save time, I cooked the pork chops on to the stovetop completely, versus finishing the dish in the oven as called for in the original recipe. To make this gluten free, I substituted the all purpose flour with a gluten free flour blend (but you can just use all purpose flour if you're not GF). This dish was perfect with mashed potatoes and extra sauce in place of gravy...


Pork Florentine
recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 pounds baby spinach
1 1/2 pounds pork chops (about 4-6)
1 onion, minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour (or GF flour blend)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
41/2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

In a 12 inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the spinach in four batches to the skillet and cook down until all the spinach is wilted and decreased in volume by half. Transfer the spinach to a colander and press through any excess liquid. Place spinach onto a cutting board and coarsely chop. Return the chopped spinach to the colander and press through any excess liquid again; set aside.

Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat 1 tablespoon in the now empty skillet over medium high heat until smoking. Cook the seasoned pork chops in batches and brown on each side, cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Transfer the cooked pork chops to a warm plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

In the now empty skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add the flour and garlic and cook until fragrant. Slowly add the broth and heavy cream, stirring constantly. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and nutmeg and simmer until sauce thickens up. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan and spinach to create the sauce.

To serve. plate  the pork and top with the Parmesan spinach sauce.

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