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!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Honey-Roasted Pork Chops with Spiced Butter

Honey is a natural mate for pork and it makes a good base for a glaze, whether you’re cooking ham, roast, or chops. In this recipe, white balsamic vinegar and savory oregano help balance the sweetness of the honey and brown sugar.

I like making seasoned butters, and they’re easy to prepare. Just give the butter time to soften, blend in your ingredients, then give it time to become firm again before using.

Fresh garlic is always a hit in butter, and, here, I added a little spice with red chile flakes, ground cumin, and smoked sea salt. If you’ve not tried smoked salt, put it on your shopping list. It lends a wonderful, mild smoky flavor to dishes without being too salty.

Smoked Sea Salt
Serves 4

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried red chile flakes
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp smoked sea salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 8-oz bone-in pork loin chops, about 3/4-inch thick
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Pork Loin Chops
  1. Combine the butter and next 4 ingredients (through smoked sea salt) in a medium bowl and mash with a fork to blend. Once blended, use the fork to push the mixture into a log shape. 
  2. Move the butter log to a small sheet of plastic wrap and roll the plastic tightly around the log. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (may also be prepared a day ahead).
Butter Mixture Ready to Blend 
Butter Log Ready to Wrap 
Wrapped Butter Log
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the honey, vinegar, oregano, and sugar in a bowl.
Honey Glaze for Pork Chops
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, swirling to coat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and sear until browned on the bottom, 5-6 minutes.
  2. Turn the chops and brush with 1/3 of the honey mixture. Sear 5 minutes. Turn the chops again and transfer to the baking sheet.
Chops Beginning to Sear
Chops after Turning
  1. Brush with 1/3 more of the honey mixture and roast until the glaze is golden and the meat is just cooked through, 10 minutes. Remove the chops to a plate and brush with the remaining glaze. Let rest 5 minutes.
Roasted, Glazed Chops
To serve, place 1 chop on each of 4 plates. Cut the spiced butter log into 4 pieces and place 1 pat on top of each chop. Serve right away. 

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