17 October 2011

Continuing on with my fall food extravaganza, here is a lovely pork chop dish for you!  I got this recipe from Cooking Light. This resource, http://www.onlineclasses.net will guide you to cooking and culinary classes when you want to learn more yummy recipes.

Maple-Brined Pork Chops

3 cups water
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1½ tsp whole allspice
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf, crushed
2 tbsp plus ¼ tsp kosher salt, divided
2½ tbsp real maple syrup, divided
4 pork chops
Cooking spray
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 ripe plums, halved and pitted
2 ripe peaches, halved and pitted

Place water, peppercorns, allspice berries, garlic, bay leaf, 2 tbsp salt, and 2 tbsp maple syrup in a pan. Bring to a boil. Cool. Seal pork and brine in a zip-top plastic bag. Chill 8 hours; drain.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Sprinkle pork with ¼ tsp salt. Grill pork on a rack coated with cooking spray 3 minutes on each side or until done. 

Combine 1½ tsp maple syrup and butter; brush onto fruit. Grill fruit, cut sides down, on rack coated with cooking spray for 3 minutes. Cut each peach and plum half in half again; serve with pork. 

Makes 4 servings.

Don't let the name fool you; this isn't one of those sweet meat dishes.  There is maple syrup in the pork chop brine, but the sweetness doesn't come through in the finished dish.  It is very much a savory dish, minus the grilled fruit on top.  I always brine my Thanksgiving turkey but had never brined pork chops before.  I don't know why; it is so easy to do and makes the pork chops crazy moist.  I pulled these pork chops out of the freezer and realized they had been in there since May, but because of the brine they were moist and tender and tasted like I had just brought them home from the store.  The original recipe called for boneless pork, but I used bone-in, since that's what I had and they (obviously) needed to be used up.  The brine would be even more helpful with the boneless pork since it has a tendency to be dry.

The fruit is definitely optional.  I pretty much only did it because I thought it would look pretty for the picture, but my three-year-old loved it.  I served this pork with a special mashed potato dish, but I can't tell you about it yet, because it's a recipe I made for November's Crazy Cooking Challenge.  Come back on November 7th to read about it!

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  1. I was just reading about brining (not sure that's a word) meats and poultry today, will have to try this!

  2. This sounds like a perfect fall dinner! I think your blog is terrific and I would like to pass this on to you.