1. Alexander Skarsgard (the nudier the better and don’t tell erik i said that)
2. Being complimented on your writing by good, published writers
3. The way Cracker’s fur fluffs after he’s been bathed.
4. Glee reruns
5. maple syrup in EVERYTHING
I love when my skepticism and inner picky brat is proven wrong about foodstuffs. I’m always wary when it comes to pairing sweet items with non-sweet dishes, but in this case it works, it really, really works. This recipe from Serious Eats comes with a photograph that immediately made Erik say “WANT.” We wanted to make this dish with those really awesome, thick pork chops, but the grocery store didn’t have them. We picked the biggest ones we could find though and it was still delicious. It’s also a milestone for me because I followed the recipe word for word. Hooray for total recipe obedience! If you’re thinking that the syrup is going to be too sweet for the pork, don’t, because you’ve got shallots, crushed black peppercorns, and cider vinegar to balance everything out.
Maple Black Pepper Pork Chops
recipe from Serious Eats
2 bone in chops, preferably 1-inch thick
a Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 Tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
a teaspoon kosher salt
a medium shallot, minced
a Tablespoon thyme leaves (fresh -not dried)
2 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup (we used Grade B because the maple flavor is more intense when you cook with it)
Preheat the oven to 350. Sprinkle 3/4 of the salt over both sides of the chops. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high. Add the chops into the pan and brown the chops well on both sides. Either remove the chops to another baking sheet and stick in the oven, or just place the whole skillet into the oven. Bake until the chops are cooked through. Set the chops aside and cover with foil. Place the skillet back on the pan and heat to medium high. Add in the shallots, the thyme, and the rest of the salt. Cook until the shallot lightly browns. Pour in the vinegar and scrape up the browny bits. Reduce the heat to simmer, add the peppercorns, and the maple syrup. Return the chops to the pan and turn a couple of times to coat the meat in the syrupy sauce. Let this cook for about 8 minutes, until everything is all glazed and friggin’ yum.
I served mine with mashed potatoes (purple skinned potatoes from my garden) and corn. I wish I’d had a better chop and better photograph. This really is super delightfully glaze-y and yum. The maple mixture reduces down to this great, thick glossy sauce that infuses the chops with all that great flavor. This recipe is, indeed, good things.
Cooking Music: the Dough Rollers (these guys opened up for Bob Dylan in Jackson and they were growly like Tom Waits and all the best Delta blues. Check them out!