Thursday, July 2, 2009

RECIPE: Pork Chops with Cherries

A telltale sign that summer has officially arrived? Cherries are in abundance at the market - along with strawberries, peaches, nectarines, plums…yum! For dinner, I wanted to make something using things I already had in my refrigerator. I went back to Whole Foods and purchased some boneless pork chops and then went to work.

You will need:

3-4 boneless pork chops (medium thickness)

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

½ lb dark red cherries, pitted and halved (you can use more or less, depending on how much fruit you want in your dish)

Red wine (I happened to use a splash of Cotes Du Rhone that I had open)

Balsamic vinegar

Dried thyme

Ground cinnamon

A pat of butter

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat, and add a bit of olive oil. Cook pork chops evenly on both sides, so they have a nice brown crust on them, and are cooked all the way through (timing depends on the thickness of the pork chops). Once the pork is cooked, put on a plate to rest.

Meanwhile, use the same pan that you fried the pork in, continuing to keep it heated, and deglaze it with a bit of balsamic vinegar. Add the onions and sauté until soft, then add the cherries and continue to cook until the cherries have softened (they will almost start to dissolve). Add a splash of red wine, a light sprinkle of thyme, and a tiny pinch of cinnamon, and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust the flavors by adding more vinegar, spices, etc. At the end, mix in a pat of butter to add a bit of shine to your sauce. Serve pork chops with a nice spoonful (or two) of the cherry sauce on top….and VOILA!

For the haricots verts, I use this simple recipe:

12 oz haricots verts (I think this is how they are packaged at Trader Joe’s)

Olive oil

Dijon mustard

White wine vinegar

I don’t know the exact measurements, but make a little vinaigrette out of the olive oil, mustard, and vinegar, and toss it with STEAMED haricots verts. It’s delicious and makes a nice side dish to the pork.

I didn’t choose to serve a starch with this, but you can most certainly add on a side of potatoes or wild rice or quinoa to make it a heartier meal. I opted instead to have a couple small slices of baguette topped with a bit of pungent cheese, and accompanied my meal with a big glass of Cotes du Rhone.