Day sixteen of Operation: Expand Horizons seemed like it would be a very picky-husband-friendly meal. It wasn't his favorite, but he didn't hate it. The March 2010 issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food brought both new recipes for this dinner- Breaded Pork Chops and Wild Rice with Mushrooms and Parsley.
The pork recipe makes 8 chops and is actually a freezer batch. I made 3 chops and skipped the freezing. I don't know if this made a difference, but the crust didn't seem to adhere well to the chops. The recipe indicates that any other herb can be substituted for the fresh sage. I never have sage, but I have thyme in a pot on my back patio, so that's what I used. It usually matches well with Dijon mustard, and this was no exception. The chops were a little too mustardy for our tastes. They also took longer to cook than the recipe indicates, but I also don't broil meat on the top rack for fear of burning the outside and having a raw middle.
The mushrooms and wild rice was a good basic side that I will make again. It's a simple mixture of cooked wild rice blend, sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and fresh parsley. The recipe called for some fresh lemon juice at the end, but I didn't think it needed any so I omitted it.
I have a trusty container of Rice Select rice blend that I use frequently. It contains white, brown, wild, and red rices, and has a mild, nutty flavor that I really enjoy.
The EDF recipe calls for making the rice according to package directions. I find that packages vary, and Martha's people often use less water than I do. My way of making rice is very simple and no-fail.
In a straight-sided sauce or sauté pan, combine 1 part rice with two parts water, a drizzle of olive oil, a good sprinkling of kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook without stirring until the top of the rice is no longer submerged and there are holes throughout the surface. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before fluffing with a fork and seasoning to taste.
You can also make a simple pilaf by heating some olive oil in the pan and sauteing some chopped onion and minced garlic before adding the rice, water, and a bouillon cube for extra flavor.