Monday, June 27, 2011
Maple Glazed Pork Chops
Many years ago, Connie and I were in Atlanta for a conference. Actually, I went to the conference and he flew in to meet me on the last day so we could spend a couple of days goofing off. He was working a consulting gig out of town and the deal was that they'd fly him home or wherever for the weekend. Bonus! Free travel!! We met my brother, Pete, for dinner at his favorite steakhouse - Bones. Both Pete and I ordered the bone-in filet. It's not a common cut of meat and he said it was wonderful and he was not kidding. Amazing. Connie thinks I'm nuts because I remember what I had at so many meals. Guess that's part of being a foodie, eh? The next evening, Pete suggested we go to another of his favorite restaurants, Canoe. Let me tell you, my brother knows his restaurants. And his wine. Talk about incredible food. This is one meal that I can't remember in its entirety. I had a fabulous pea salad. Kind of a twist on the pea, waterchestnut, bacon, mayo dressing salad. I think I had Georgia Trout also. Connie had quail. The waiter suggested a rose for the wine. Hmm? Not a wine I'd typically drink at that time.
Now, if you're of a certain age, ah, shall I say older than the typical blogger... you'll probably think back into the far reaches of your memory and pull out Mateus Rose. I think we all came of age drinking some of that. Blue Nun, Mad Dog, ah, those were the days. Cheap moose piss as my dear "adopted brother" Vic would say. Vic who survived Indiana University with me. Who joined me in drinking a bit of that moose piss :-)
Yes, I was hesitant. Very hesitant. But, like I said, Pete knows his restaurants and his wines. And, he wasn't going to send us someplace where they served crummy wine. So, we ordered the rose. It was in a beautiful bottle. The winery was Pax. And, it was heavenly. Oh, and best of all it was perfect with both of our meals.
When I got home, I did a bit of research and found Pax. We couldn't find their wines in any of the local liquor stores. But, I did sign up for their newsletter. Over the years they've sold one winery and opened another and asked if I really wanted to stay on their email list because I'm not ordering anything... And, yes, I did want to stay on the newsletter list. And, that's how I came to have this fantastic recipe! Don't you love how the threads of our lives weave together?
What did we think? This is sweet then hot. But, it's just a little bit hot. A perfect amount. I used bone-in pork chops cut an inch thick. The idea was that we'd have leftovers for lunch the next day. Dreamer. I even finished mine. Absolutely a five out of five. The recipe is from the Donelan Wines newsletter and gives credit to Food and Wine Magazine.
Maple Glazed Pork Chops
1/4 c pecans
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1 T cider vinegar
2 t grainy mustard
1/4 t Siracha or other hot sauce
1 2" rosemary sprig
2 1" thick pork loin chops
vegetable oil, for brushing
salt and freshly ground pepper
Toast the pecans in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until browned and very fragrant.
Mix the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard, Siracha and rosemary sprig in a small saucepan.
Simmer until it's reduced by about a third. Heat your grill. Rub the pork chops with the vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Grill over direct heat. After you've grilled the first side for about four-five minutes, flip the pork chops. Divide the glaze into two bowls, reserving the second for serving. Brush the pork chops with the glaze. When you've grilled the second side for about four minutes, flip the chops again and brush the second side with glaze. Serve with the toasted, chopped pecans on top. Drizzle with the reserved sauce.