Tuesday, March 10, 2009

*Pork Chops with Balsamic Reduction+Orange Segments
If you like balsamic vinegar, you will enjoy this dish. If you don't, it might be a good one to skip! I took three different recipes and combined them all into this baby. This is a relatively quick meal, especially if you do the same 5-minute side dishes I tried (see asterisk at bottom).
{Serves 4}

4 boneless pork chops
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/ 4 + 1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
Dash of cloves or 1 whole clove
1 cup prunes, diced
2 oranges, skin, pith, all white parts removed, cut into segments

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, rosemary, and cloves. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn heat down to medium and let simmer until it's reduced a bit or until sugar is completely dissolved (5-10 minutes on the burner should do it). Remove from heat.

In a rather large skillet, add olive oil, and turn heat to high. Working fast and using your hands, season pork chops on both sides liberally with salt, pepper, and cumin. Add pork chops to hot oil as you add the meat to the skillet, you want to hear that "sizzle" sound) and sear for 5-8 minutes before turning over (when you see the edges just beginning to brown, turn them over). Let sear on the other side for same amount of time. Remove from heat, place on a plate, and cover with foil for 10 minutes.That was a hot pan they were cooking in, they need a rest before you start cutting 'em!:)

In the meantime, pour 1 cup of hot water over prunes and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain the water, mix with oranges.

Serve pork chops with drizzle of balsamic sauce and prune-orange mixture. La dee da.

*For a side dish, I did grilled asparagus topped with grated orange zest, as well as whole-wheat couscous. Dessert , dark chocolate panna cotta with orange and pistachios. Yes, you will be oranged out!

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