Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pork Chops with Maple and Balsamic Glaze, Baked Apples, and Goat Cheese and Rosemary Polenta

These recipes were two that came in the New York Times Magazine as an excellent pairing. My mommy had made it a couple of times before and I was feeling adventurous tonight and decided to give it a try. I looked for a link online, but I was having trouble finding them, so I'll type them out of love for you all.

Pork Chops
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 4 (1 ¼ inch thick) pork chops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 green apples, cored
  • ¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger
Polenta
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups polenta
  • 6 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper

First, I whisked together the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and cinnamon.






Then I put the pecans and 2 tablespoons of the maple-balsamic sauce into a small pan and cooked for about two minutes, until they were glazed. It absolutely smelled amazing.





While the pecans were cooking, I put salt and pepper on both sides of the chops.






Then I drizzled some olive oil on both sides of the chops.






When the pecans were done, I took them out of the pan and let them cool on a plate. When they were cool, I chopped them roughly.





Then my bf  helped me cook the pork chops because broilers scare me. He glazed the top side of the chops with the maple sauce. He then flipped the chops every two minutes, for about 7-8 minutes total on each side. After each flip we brushed the chops with the glaze. Make sure you flip every few minutes to avoid burning the glaze.

While the chops were cooking, I prepared the apples and the polenta. First, I cored the apples and cut then into thick rounds.





Then I sprinkled pepper and salt, then drizzled the olive oil over the apples.








Next, I started the polenta. I put the goat cheese and rosemary in the pan.







Then I added the polenta. Usually, I would add the raw polenta and the chicken stock and stir for about ten minutes until it was creamy. However, east coast groceries seem to be void of polenta. When I asked for help, the workers in the grocery store have asked if it is cheese, fruit, you name it. Anyway, pre-cooked polenta was all I could find.


Then I turned the stove on medium heat and melted the cheese, while stirring the contents for about two minutes.





Then I added the salt, pepper and butter. I let the butter melt then stirred everything together until it looked like the picture on the left. I took the pan off the heat, then reheated the polenta right before we ate.




About this time, the pork chops were done. The recipe called for them to cool for a few minutes, so while they were cooling we tackled the apples.





We brushed the apples with the same maple glaze and broiled them for a few minutes until they were tender when I poked them with a fork.





Finally, I served the pork chops laid over the apples with the pecans on top. The polenta was on the side, but everything tasted amazing when eaten together. Even though it's a bit fancy, I love this dinner and highly recommend it to everyone.





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