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Friday, January 27, 2012

Pork Chops with Dijon-Cream Sauce

Nothing tastes better than a perfectly cooked pork chop, especially if you top it with a delicate and creamy Dijon cream sauce.  The chops are quickly seared in a skillet to seal in the juices then cooking is finished in the oven.  Not a lot for prep goes into this recipe and with just a handful of ingredients it's perfect for a weeknight dinner.

6 (3/4-inch-thick) Pork Chops
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 TB  Canola Oil
1  Large Shallot, finely minced
3 TB  Unsalted Butter
3/4 cup  Chicken Broth
1/4 cup  Country-Style Dijon Mustard
2 TB Heavy Cream
3 tsp  Fresh Lemon Juice

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat pork dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add oil to hot skillet, swirling to coat, then brown chops, turning over once, about 8 minutes total.  (This will sear the outside of the chops giving them a nice golden brown edge, but not cook them thru to the center.)  Transfer chops to a shallow baking pan, reserving skillet.  Bake chops, uncovered, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Let stand, loosely covered with foil, 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour off fat from skillet, then cook shallots in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and any juices from baking pan and boil, scraping up any of the tasty browned bits, for about 2 minutes. Add mustard and cream and return to a boil, then add lemon juice and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Pour sauce over chops and serve with mashed potatoes and steamed spinach.

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