Dukkah-Crusted Pork Chops with Roasted Cardamom Carrots

When we took a pizza and focaccia class last year, the instructor (the most awesome Chris French) introduced us to dukkah. In case you don't know, dukkah is an Egyptian nut-and-spice blend of almonds (or some other type of nut), sesame seeds, fennel seeds, coriander, anise seeds and kosher salt, and it is delicious. It imparts an exotically tasty flavor and crunchy coating to anything you put it in, and last week we put it on some pork chops. Holy Isis, were they good!

We dredged the chops first in flour, the in a beaten egg, then in the dukkah to make it stick better and pan-fried the chops in a skillet with a little oil and butter. We think cardamom proffers a mysterious flavor to dishes as well, so we roasted our side dish, carrots, in cardamom-infused butter. Sure, we haven't been A Couple in the Kitchen much lately (more like, a couple in the take-out lane), but this was a fabulous dinner that we've raved about, and craved, ever since.

Make the carrots first and put them in the oven. Wait about 15 minutes, then start the chops and both should come out around the same time.

Dukkah-Crusted Pork Chops 
serves two

2 center-cut boneless pork chops
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup dukkah 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
pomegranate molasses (optional)

Coat pork chops (on both sides) first in flour, then in the beaten egg, then in the dukkah blend. Put aside in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet and pan-fry the pork chops until they are browned on both sides. Place the chops in a 350-degree oven and cook to desired temperature, about 10 minutes. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses if desired.

Roasted Cardamom Carrots
serves two

4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 whole cardamom pods

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cardamom pods and butter in a small saucepan and melt butter over low heat. Pour butter with cardamom pods over sliced carrots in a small baking dish. Place in oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, until tender.

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