Sunday, September 28, 2008

Smoked Pork Chops with Pineapple Rosemary Sauce (Page 483)

RECIPE #837

  • Date: Friday, September 26, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

My special gentleman flew in late Friday night -- I made these pork chops Friday evening so that there would be something for him to eat when he got here. It's such a nice feeling after traveling to have some homemade food that I try to make sure there is always something for my special gentleman to eat when he arrives. My mother still does this for me -- whenever I visit her there is always some homemade macaroni and cheese, or some spinach and cheese filled pasta in the fridge waiting for me. Yum! Maybe I a more sensitive to this than most people, but after a few consecutive meals in restaurants, I am more than ready for something homemade. When traveling it is hard to avoid eating out for every meal, and that gets old very quickly!

Anyway, I threw together these pork chops after work on Friday. The preparation of the pork chops themselves was very simple. The dish called for smoked pork chops, which I had never used before but were easy to find at my local butcher (a huge shout-out to Butcher's Block!). Smoked pork chops are already fully cooked, so the recipe simply called for them to be seared on the stove top, and cooked just until warm in the middle. The sauce took a bit more effort. I started with a whole pineapple, cutting some of it into a 1/4-inch dice, and chunking the rest of it. The chunks got pureed in the blender, then the pineapple puree was drained through cheesecloth for about 30 minutes. I then discarded the solids and boiled the pineapple juice for 10 minutes to reduce it. In another pan I cooked some garlic and rosemary in olive oil, then discarded the garlic and rosemary. The infused oil was whisked into the reduced juice, along with the diced pineapple and the whole thing was used to deglaze the pan the pork was cooked in. To serve, I poured the sauce over the warm pork chops.

Overall this dish was pretty good, but it was extremely strongly flavored. The pork chops were very smokey, which gave them an almost ham-like flavor. They were definitely tasty, but I think I would have liked them more with a milder sauce. This sauce was incredibly flavorful. Pineapple juice is potent stuff to begin with, but when it gets reduced it becomes super flavorful, and extremely sweet. The pineapple was so intense that it overwhelmed both the rosemary and the garlic, which was a rather impressive feat. I like the flavor of pineapple, and I typically enjoy it paired with a ham-like smokiness (Mmmmm... Hawaiian pizza...) but in this case it was a little too intense even for me. My special gentleman agreed -- it could have been toned down a bit. That said, we both ate and enjoyed these chops, we just probably wouldn't make them again.

Here is the recipe.

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