Monday, June 21, 2010

Pork Chops in Dried Cherry Chutney Demi-Glace

Fancy pants, huh? After making it, I feel as though I should have saved it for one of our date-nights-in, or our 27-month anniversary (I don't actually count the months just making up a reason to celebrate). Tonight, I was exhausted, Mr. Max was hurrying to football, we approached this meal as any other Monday night dinner and were pleasantly surprised at the delicious elegance in front of us. I re-established a relationship with pork chops a few weeks ago, and we thought that was the best pork chop ever... until tonight. This recipe got that award. All you culinary cuties out there, mark this one as a "show off" recipe for a special someone or like "hey mom, look at me, look how well I can cook now!" You shall impress with this one...and I think a good Pinot Noir (perhaps, Francis Ford Coppola label) would accompany it fabulously.

I credit my America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy Cookbook for this one, coming in at only 380 calories - this is just a winner on so many levels. Now, I did slightly adapt as I went and will include my recommendations for you. The process was only about 20 minutes at most!

Let's get going...

Grocery List:
4 6-oz Pork Chops (I did not get bone-in)
1 tablespoon of Canola Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 shallot minced (about 3 tablespoons worth)
1 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (I personally like to skim on the chicken broth, so I only used 1 cup, I think I could have done 3/4 cup...)
1/2 cup sweet red wine (recipe calls for Ruby Port Wine - I could not find that so I looked up a sub and discovered that any sweet red wine would work, so I chose Chianti and actually added more like 3/4 cup to balance the chicken broth I didn't want to use, for a sweeter taste)
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons of whole milk (I used skim, whatever you have will work)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (they were out when I was at the store so I used the dried spice instead, doubtful that a truly tasteful difference was made)

Additional Needs:
Something to mince with
Cutting board
Meat Tenderizer
Small whisk
Small mixing bowl

For the pork, add your canola oil to the skillet and set on medium-high heat. I like to use meat tenderizer on pork since it can tend to be a little tough. Sprinkle your tenderizer over both sides, stab it with a fork a few times to open it up and allow the juices you will be cooking it in, seep in. Lay the pork in the skillet and let it begin to cook. After about 5 minutes flip. Repeat process until cooked through.

Cooking the chops

and flip it...

Once the pork is cooked through, set it aside on a plate. You can tent it with aluminum foil to help keep the heat in.

Next mince your shallot - I used my best friend, the mini processor - and throw it in the leftover oil. Scrape up some of the brown bits left over from the pork and cook until fragrant and softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, wine/port and finally the cherries. Bring it to a simmer and cook until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. I decided to add the pork back in to let it simmer in this sauce for more flavor. If you decide to do this, let cook for about 3-5 minutes, then remove to previous plate.

I got lazy on the picture process... this is after adding the minced shallot, the chicken stock and the wine/port

This is when I decided to cook the pork in the demi-glace

After adding the cherries

In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and cornstarch together. Next whisk the mixture into the simmering sauce. Continue to simmer the sauce until it has thickened. Take it off the heat and add the rosemary, then season with salt and pepper to taste. At this time, you can add just a splash of additional sweet wine if you think it is needed. I did.

After removing the pork and adding the cornstarch/milk combo

Arrange your pork chops on plates to serve and spoon a generous helping of the sauce over the pork! Mr. Max requested my potatoes again, so this meal was accompanied by my posted mashed potato recipe and simple steamed carrots. I may do a garlic green bean recipe with it next time!

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