Cream Cheese Orange Cilantro Pork Chops... let Some Sunshine In!

Today was an off day.  Perhaps the goings-on in the world.  Perhaps a few hiccups in our own world (my man had surgery today).

But as we must do in life, we trudged on, and I cooked.  Because, you see, cooking for those you love... is love. And in my world, that means just about everything!

And I made an amazing meal, but in taking pictures so late in the day, the lighting was all wrong, and it just didn't come together, and well... the plate ended up way too yellow, the sauce looked like a blob, instead of something on a gourmet plate, and I just wanted to throw it all out.

But, the recipe rocked.  One of the best meals ever (said my patient, who is doing great, by the way!)

So here it is.  Kind of messy... like life.  Not perfect... like us all.  But full of heart, and love, and well, tonight, that's all that matters- at least to us.  Hopefully, this might inspire a bit of sunshine.

Cream Cheese Orange Cilantro Pork Chops with Roast Fennel

2 fennel bulb, cut into thin half-moons
4 pork chops
1 Vidalia onion, sliced in half-moons
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 oranges, juiced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
A dash of red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
Your favorite seasoning... I used Penzeys Parisien blend but this recipe goes with lots of herbs and flavors.

For the fennel- preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place fennel half-moons on a rimmed cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt.  Roast for about 30 minutes.

For the pork chops.  Drizzle oil in a large skillet.  Add pork chops and onion and season with salt, pepper, and seasonings of choice.  Brown each side and then turn down the heat to cook through until just med.  Set the pork chops aside when done.  To the skillet with the onions, add in the cream cheese, broth, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, and seasons as desired.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until thickened.  Add in fresh cilantro and red pepper flakes at the end.

To plate add fennel and top with pork chops, sauce and sprinkle with more chopped cilantro.