Pibil-Style Pork with Spinach & Citrus Rice

Pibil-Style Pork

with Spinach & Citrus Rice

45 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight's recipe is inspired by "cochinita pibil," a dish of marinated, slow-cooked pork from Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. To achieve the dish's spectacular depth of flavor in a fraction of the time, we're briefly marinating pork chops with fresh lime juice and traditional spices, including the bright red, earthy seeds of the annatto tree. Pink-tinged cara cara orange forms the base of a sweet and spicy salsa, while some of its zest brightens up our simple side of rice.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Pibil-Style Pork with Spinach & Citrus Rice
Title
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the lime. Using a peeler, remove the orange rind, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Cut off and discard the remaining orange rind and pith; medium dice the orange. Finely chop the cilantro leaves and stems. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Peel and mince the garlic. Finely chop the pepper. Thoroughly wash your hands immediately after handling the pepper.

Make the marinade & marinate the pork chops:
2 Make the marinade & marinate the pork chops:

In a medium bowl, combine the spice blend, the juice of 2 lime wedges and 2 tablespoons of water. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the seasoned pork chops to the bowl of marinade; turn to evenly coat. Transfer to a plate. Set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Cook the rice:
3 Cook the rice:

While the pork chops marinate, in a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 ¼ cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork; stir in the orange zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salsa:
4 Make the salsa:

While the rice cooks, in a bowl, combine the orange, cilantro, white bottoms of the scallions, a drizzle of olive oil and as much of the pepper as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pork chops:
5 Cook the pork chops:

While the rice continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the marinated pork chops (letting any excess marinade drip off before adding) and cook, loosely covering the pan with foil, 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate. Set aside in a warm place.

Cook the spinach & plate your dish:
6 Cook the spinach & plate your dish:

Add the garlic to the pan of reserved fond. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the cooked rice, cooked spinach and cooked pork chops between 2 dishes. Top with the salsa. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions and remaining lime wedges. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the lime. Using a peeler, remove the orange rind, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Cut off and discard the remaining orange rind and pith; medium dice the orange. Finely chop the cilantro leaves and stems. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Peel and mince the garlic. Finely chop the pepper. Thoroughly wash your hands immediately after handling the pepper.

2 Make the marinade & marinate the pork chops:

In a medium bowl, combine the spice blend, the juice of 2 lime wedges and 2 tablespoons of water. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the seasoned pork chops to the bowl of marinade; turn to evenly coat. Transfer to a plate. Set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Make the marinade & marinate the pork chops:
Cook the rice:
3 Cook the rice:

While the pork chops marinate, in a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 ¼ cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork; stir in the orange zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Make the salsa:

While the rice cooks, in a bowl, combine the orange, cilantro, white bottoms of the scallions, a drizzle of olive oil and as much of the pepper as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salsa:
Cook the pork chops:
5 Cook the pork chops:

While the rice continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the marinated pork chops (letting any excess marinade drip off before adding) and cook, loosely covering the pan with foil, 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate. Set aside in a warm place.

6 Cook the spinach & plate your dish:

Add the garlic to the pan of reserved fond. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the cooked rice, cooked spinach and cooked pork chops between 2 dishes. Top with the salsa. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions and remaining lime wedges. Enjoy!

Cook the spinach & plate your dish:
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