Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blackberry Balsamic Chop

I am not the first to say it. Though I believe it: Better Homes and Gardens gets a bad rap with the cultured Illuminati of the blogosphere. It is not particularly high-minded, nor all that cultured, that much is certainly true. But frankly, neither am I when I just have to get dinner on the table.

I turn over every rock to find recipes which are not some slopped together taco-seasoning box meal, not only because I do not believe in packaged foods, but also because that would never fly twice with the diners at my table. Their palates are advanced. Even the little beaters. Consequently, new, distinctly-flavored, deeply good food has to hit that surface every night. To arrive there, I keep an ever-vigilant eye on magazine test kitchens (to that end, the closing of Gourmet is devastating for that reason and dozens more).

BHG will fall down on food, I speculate, four out of twelve issues a year. But when they are on, they can turn out some inspired practical dishes. This remarkable recipe which is both sweet and tangy, but remarkably varied in alluring flavors, is an adaptation of BHG's pork loin creation. It took all of fifteen minutes to prepare; I did not marinade, but you could.

I hope you enjoy it. It will be served here as often as I can get away with it; with couscous, haricort vert, and whole grain dinner rolls. Oh, and a Rioja, which I can tell you, is very nice alongside.

Blackberry Balsamic Pork Chops

adapted from this BHG recipe

4 thick-cut bone in pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp butter
2 tsp olive or canola oil
Cooking spray
cup seedless blackberry preserves
cup dry white wine or apple juice
Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
clove garlic, minced
tsp. soy sauce
tsp. finely shredded orange peel
tsp. snipped fresh rosemary

Preheat the over to 325 degrees.

Season the chops liberally with salt and pepper. Place a large, heavy skillet on a high flame and add the butter and oil. When the pan is smoking hot, add the chops (being careful not to burn yourself). Sear to a golden crust on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the chops to a roasting pan coated with cooking spray (holding the skillet aside for a moment), and place them in the oven, cook until a thermometer registers done for pork.

Place the skillet on medium heat. Add the blackberry preserves, wine or apple juice, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, and soy. Heat until the preserves melt and the mixture just comes to a boil. Taste, adjust seasoning, pour over the pork, serve.

Note: I allowed my sauce to continue boiling to reduce. When the pork came out of the oven, I added the pork juices and allowed it to reduce again another minute. Delish!

If your sauce becomes too thick, whisk in a touch of water until it loosens.


the Preppy Princess said...

We're with you on the BH&G sentiments, it is a vastly overlooked or snubbed resource. This recipe is a great example of why it shouldn't be disregarded because of its mass appeal.

It looks yumalicious Miss Hostess!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

This looks fantastic. I am saving it to my "To try" file.

The-Countrypolitan said...

This recipe looks and sounds delicious and I can't wait to add it to my repertoire!

Cote de Texas said...

your abilities always impress!!!!!

The-Countrypolitan said...

This recipe was a success with my 17 year old son, who loved the sauce! I just wish that I could get a really good browning on my chops... even on highest heat they tend to look anemic. Is it too much butter and oil? I only put in two chops at a time to not over crowd.

Shelly Beson said...

I was panicking today because I'm having a dinner party and didn't know what to serve. This is perfect except two of my guests are Jewish but I could swear I've seen them eat bacon:) I'll need to ask them first if it's ok.

Thanks so much