Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pan-Fried Pork with Rhubarb-Fig Chutney

Rhubarb is a springtime favorite for bakers, since it makes a great filling for pies and other sweets. But this slightly bitter, raw-tasting vegetable is good for more than loading up with sugar and turning into a baked good. It also makes a flavorful chutney that’s both sweet and savory.

Chutney’s combination of fruits, vegetables, and aromatic spices cooked down together makes it one of the most flavorful and inviting condiments you can use to top meats or simply to spread on a piece of crusty bread.

In this recipe, rhubarb and fig come together with sweet raisins, bell pepper, and brown sugar, fragrant cinnamon and cloves, and a splash of light, tangy vinegar for a rich, warm, slightly chunky sauce to give simple fried pork chops deliciously robust flavor. 

Note: Before cooking the chutney, I decided a little heat was in order, so I added a serrano chile to the mix. That's optional, but it kicks up the flavor nicely.

Chutney Ingredients (without serrano)
I served the pork and chutney with pan-seared baby artichokes. Use this recipe as a guide for preparing artichokes but increase the number of baby vegetables and decrease the cooking time.

Serves 4


For the Chutney
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb (1 large or 2 small stalks)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 red or green serrano chile, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
  • sea salt
  • 5 dried, black mission figs, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fig preserves
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
For the Pork
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 4-oz boneless pork chops, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
  • flour, for dredging
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Pounded Pork Chops

For the Chutney

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the rhubarb, shallot, serrano (if using), and bell pepper and season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5-6 minutes.

Rhubarb Mixture Beginning to Cook
  1. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a light simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook slowly until thickened, 25-30 minutes. Remove the chutney from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Chutney Beginning to Cook 
Cooked Chutney
(The chutney may be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature before serving.)

Rhubarb-Fig Chutney
For the Pork
  1. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Dredge the chops in flour and season with salt and pepper. Place in the skillet and fry until golden brown on the outside and just cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side. 
Pork Chops Beginning to Fry 
Fried Pork Chops

Plate the chops and spoon chutney on top. Pass any remainder at the table.

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