The kids are back in school which means weeknight dinners need to be simple and tasty! This Italian Crusted Pork with Creamy Parmesan Orzo recipe takes less than 30 minutes and your whole family will enjoy!
With my son starting kindergarten and all the rushing around we have been doing, I have been struggling to get into the new routine with my family. In my frenzy, the decision of what to make for dinner often gets put to the back of the line until the last minute. Eating dinner as a family is definitely a priority but I needed to develop some new weeknight meals. I needed meals that would be fast, simple, and satisfy everyone in our family. With tastes running in opposite directions, I also definitely needed to enlist some help. Thank goodness hubby knows his way around the kitchen. He is like a well oiled machine of task management while I am a messy magician!
Using fresh, natural ingredients is very important to me. I like knowing what I am eating and I love cooking from scratch. However, I also need dinners with little fuss. The simple potent ingredients of this dish perfectly complement the pork. Score! Panko breading seasoned with basil and oregano perfectly suited the pan-fried pork. Italian is comfort food at it’s finest! But it needed something more so I added creamy Parmesan orzo with a small spinach salad. A drizzle of balsamic glaze over the whole dish finished it off. Honestly, my hubby and son just mixed everything together with a spoon and chowed down. Next time, I am going to prepare this as a one dish meal.
While the orzo is all mine, I won’t take credit for the delicious pork. Seriously, I need to get hubby in the kitchen more often! He has definitely still got the saute skills. Cooking – and eating – together as a family makes everything seem to taste even better. I am sure he is probably thinking to himself, “Uh, oh. What did my wife just sign me up for?” (Yes, he reads my blog. What a supportive sweetie!)
Smithfield Italian Breaded Pork Tenderloin with Creamy Parmesan Orzo
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1 cup Water
- 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 1 cup spinach washed and stems removed (optional)
- 1.5 lb Smithfield pork tenderloin or pork loin
Italian Breaded Pork Tenderloin
- 2 cups panko
- 1 tsp basil
- 2 tsp oregano
- Milk for soaking about 1 cup
- salt and pepper
- 3 Tbsp olive oil or enough to almost cover bottom of pan
- Balsamic Glaze for drizzling optional
- Parmesan Orzo
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the orzo and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add water and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, and turn heat to low. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. Add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in spinach if desired.
- Italian Breaded Pork Tenderloin
- Cut pork tenderloin into cutlets about the size of a small fist. Lay the cutlets flat between sheets of saran wrap. Using a mallet, pound out the pork to about 1/2 inch thickness.
- In a saute pan a little over medium heat, add the oil. Make sure not to let the oil smoke.
- While the oil is heating, pour the milk for soaking the tenderloin in a bowl. In a separate bowl or large plate, combine spices and panko breading. Soak the pork in the milk for 1 minute and then transfer and pat the panko breading onto both sides of the meat.
- Place meat in saute pan when oil is hot. Cook approximately 3-5 minutes per side or until crust is golden brown. Remove from pan and garnish with balsamic glaze, if desired.
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