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Pork chop with succotash, polenta and caramelized fennel sauce

Recipe by:Executive Chefs Moriah Robison and Rayne Frey
Tabu Grill, Laguna Beach


  • Succotash
    1 strip bacon, diced
    1 bulb fennel, diced
    1 large carrot, diced
    1 cup sliced snap peas
    1/4 cup cream
    1 tbsp. butter
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    Chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley and cilantro
    Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Polenta
    2 cups milk
    1 cup cream
    1/2 cup water
    1 cup polenta
    2 tbsp. honey
  • Caramelized fennel sauce
    1 bulb fennel, diced
    1 cup apple cider vinegar
    1 cup chicken stock
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    2 sprigs tarragon
    1 stick (8 tbsp.) butter
  • 4 pork chops, about 1 inch thick


For succotash: Sauté bacon in a sauté pan until brown; remove and reserve. Add fennel and carrots and sauté until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add bacon, snap peas and cream. Stir until cream thickens and binds all vegetables, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in butter. Season with salt, pepper, herbs and lemon juice.

For polenta: Bring milk, cream and water to a simmer. Whisk in polenta and turn heat to low. Stir constantly until polenta thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste and honey.

For sauce: Sauté fennel in a small amount of oil over medium-low heat until soft and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, stock, brown sugar and tarragon and reduce to a thick syrup. Whisk in butter and stir constantly to emulsify. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste. Remove tarragon sprigs.

To serve: Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until pork feels firm or internal temperature reaches 145 to 150 degrees. Place a scoop of polenta in the center of each plate and spread flat. Spoon succotash (or other favorite vegetable) over polenta. Pour sauce around the perimeter of the plate. Place pork chop on top of succotash.

Serves 4

Califonia Bountiful