Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pork Sweet Pork

I think we all have at least one thing that we're not comfortable cooking.  Some people are afraid to cook fish because they're unfamiliar with it, some shy away from roasts for fear of drying them out.  I hate to cook pork chops because they almost always come out either totally dried out or too tough.  It's too bad too because its nice to throw a little meat variety in the mix.  Since we joined a CSA for our beef and pork products, we often will have some pork chops on hand.  I found a recipe in Food Network Magazine for Honey-Glazed Pork Chops with sweet mashed potatoes.  These turned out really good.  The total cooking time is 40 min and the dinner comes in at 492 calories (likely less because they base this on 4 servings and you probably wouldn't eat 1/4 of the potatoes.  That would be a very hearty serving.
So you will need the juice of 1 orange, some olive oil, Cajun seasoning, fresh thyme and Worcestershire sauce to make the marinade.
Whisk it all together...
and cover your chops in it.  Place them in a 375 oven for 25 min turning once.  While those are cooking, put your sweet potatoes in the microwave and cook until soft, about 20 min.  Once cooled you'll scoop them into a bowl and mash with a fork along with some Cajun seasoning and butter.  These were a major hit!
After the chops have cooked for the 25 min, add some honey to the marinade and brush it on the chops and broil a few min on each side.  I may have mentioned this before, but I think it's worth mentioning again, if you measure your oil before you measure honey it will slip right off the spoon.  I was pretty excited when I made that discovery!
So there you have some nice, tasty chops.  Not tough or dry.  Just yummy.
How's that for a nice weeknight dinner? 

Honey-Glazed Pork Chops with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
(Food Network Magazine)

Juice of 1 large orange (about 1/2 cup)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsps Cajun seasoning
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt
4 bone in center-cut pork chops (about 1 3/4 lb total)
2 Tbs honey
4 sweet potatoes (about 8 oz each)
2 Tbs unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375.  Whisk together OJ, olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, thyme, W-sauce and 3/4 tsp salt in a large bowl.  Pierce chops in several places with a fork and add to the bowl, turning to coat.  Transfer the pork chops to a rack on a rimmed baking sheet.  Reserve remaining marinade.  Bake the chops for 15 min, turn and continue baking until slightly golden, about 10 min more. 

Whisk honey into reserved marinade and brush onto chops.  Broil until golden and a thermometer reads 145 degrees, about 4 min on each side. Let rest about 5 min.

Meanwhile, pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork and microwave until soft, about 20 min.  Cut in half and scoop flesh into a bowl.  Add butter and remaining Cajun seasoning and mash.  Season with salt. Serve with pork chops and drizzle with pan juices if desired.

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