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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Spiced Pork Chops with Rosemary

I've always leaned away from cooking pork chops because they seemed so ordinary.  Add a little seasoning, then grill them, fry them, bake them and the flavor was always about the same.  Because of those boring chops in the past I was excited to try this recipe for Spiced Pork Chops.  It also gave me a chance to use some of the fresh rosemary from my garden.

This dish is a slight variation from the original recipe found in the Weeknights with Giada cookbook and it is definitely going to be a repeat meal and a family favorite.  I'm really enjoying this cookbook and I can't wait to try more of the recipes.  If you are not familiar with Giada, this is definitely a great book to pick up.  Her cooking is kind of Italian food with a modern healthy twist.  Best of all, her recipes are family-friendly and easy to prepare.

I did a little adjusting to the original recipe by toning down the red pepper flakes and increasing the amount of garlic.  I'm not really sure the red pepper flakes added that much to the sauce and I might leave them out completely the next time I make this dish. 

I also changed the sauce preparation a bit by adding the rosemary and onions to the skillet for a quick saute.  It softened the rosemary and really brought out the flavor.  The rosemary, combined with honey and balsamic vinegar was what really caught my attention.  The flavors came together beautifully and the chops were moist and full of flavor.  Be really careful not to overcook the chops so they will come out nice and tender.

1 TB  Olive Oil + 2 tsp, divided
6  Boneless Pork chops, 1-inch thick
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
1/2 tsp  Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (original recipe calls for 1 tsp)
1/2 cup  Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup  Honey
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1  Large Green Onion, white and light green parts only, minced
1 1/2 tsp  Fresh Rosemary, chopped
4 TB  Unsalted Butter

In a large skillet heat 1 TB olive oil over medium-high heat.  Season pork chops lightly with salt and pepper, place chops in the skillet and cook about 5 minutes on each side until almost fully cooked through.  Remove the chops from the pan, cover and keep warm.  Keep the skillet handy for the final steps.

In a small saucepan add the red pepper flakes, vinegar, honey, and garlic, stir to combine and heat to a low boil.  Let simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until slightly reduced. 

Back to the skillet, over medium-high heat add 2 tsp olive oil to the pan, then add the green onions and rosemary.  Saute for 3-4 minutes until softened slightly.  Add the chops back to the skillet and reduce heat to low.

After the sauce has reduced, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter.  This will slightly thicken the sauce and give it a nice shiny glaze.  Pour the sauce over the chops in the skillet and heat 2 minutes longer.  Serve chops with garlic mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and a nice cold chardonnay.

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