Friday, September 26, 2008

Bone up

Two fundamental but controversial truths of the Hostess's relationship with pork, and in turn, well... pigs, I suppose:
1. The Hostess does not believe in eating or cooking pork cutlets (Blushing Rule #8). In fact, the Hostess much prefers chewing on shoe leather. She eats chops, as in, pork on the bone. Thick cut or roasts only, because they do not dry out as readily and turn into insoles in 4 minutes or less. The Hostess misses her Grandmother's on the bone Shake n' Bake pork chop dinner, but it would never be the same without her. Indeed, the Hostess has been known to suggest alternate uses for all the cutlets she has crossed. For instance; doormats and residential foundations.
2. The Hostess has long been a proponent of the pork and fruit combination. Believing these two items adore one another deeply (almost as much as Shake n' Bake and chops), and should be allowed to nestle happily together on plates everywhere.

Seared Pork Chops in Dijon Peach Sauce
Serves 2, easily multiplied

2-1/2 pound thick cut center rib bone-in pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons peach jam
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon thyme, fresh is best (1/2 teaspoon ground)
*Apples sauteed in butter and salted make a lovely garnish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the meat from refrigeration and allow to stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of both pork chops.

In a wide, ovenproof skillet, heat oil and butter to sizzling and smoking, but not burned. Lay both chops in the pan and cook 2 minutes on the first side until the meat is golden. Turn meat onto other side and repeat searing for 2 minutes until golden brown. Transfer chops to a plate and set aside momentarily.

Hold the skillet off the heat while you add the white wine. With a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen the browned bits. Stir, cook for 1 minute. Add peach jam and Dijon mustard to the wine mixture. Cook, stirring vigorously until the mustard and peach jam are evenly incorporated.

Add chops back to skillet and place into the preheated oven. Cook 15 minutes, checking after 10 with a meat thermometer. It is finished when the meat reaches 160 degrees.

Transfer the chops to warmed serving plate(s), spoon Dijon peach sauce over the top.

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