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, October 18, 2015

Pan-Roasted Maple Pork Chops with Parmesan Polenta

Maple syrup isn’t just about pancakes and cookies. It also brings a rich depth to savory pan-roasted pork chops—as well as intense sweetness to a sauce tempered by tangy whole-grain mustard and salty soy sauce. It’s about balance. And plain ol’ lip-smacking taste.

Creamy polenta makes a great side dish for the maple chops. I like making it with a combination of milk and chicken broth simply for the creaminess the milk brings and the flavor of the broth. Stir in a little freshly grated Parmesan for even more flavor.

Serves 4

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tsp whole-grain mustard
  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops (about 3/4-inch thick)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  1. Combine the maple syrup, soy sauce, onion, and mustard in a bowl. Place the pork chops in a baking dish just large enough to hold them side by side.
  2. Transfer 1/2 cup of the maple syrup mixture to a small saucepan and pour the remaining over the pork chops. Cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours, turning the chops 2-3 times during marinating.
Maple Mixture 
Loin Chops 
Chops in Marinade 
Marinated Pork Chops
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Warm the reserved maple syrup mixture over low heat. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Heat a cast-iron (or other ovenproof) skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, swirling to coat.
  4. Remove the chops from the marinade, letting excess drip off. (Discard marinade.) Place in the skillet and sear until beginning to brown on the bottom, 7-8 minutes.
  5. Turn and baste lightly with a little of the reserved maple syrup mixture. Season lightly with salt and pepper and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast until tender and just cooked through, 6-7 minutes, depending on thickness.
Chops Beginning to Sear 
After Turning
Ready for the Oven 
Pan-Roasted Pork Chops
  1. Meanwhile, bring the milk and broth to a light boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually pour in the polenta, stirring constantly to prevent clumps. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, 6-7 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and 1 teaspoon of chopped rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
Polenta Added to Milk Mixture
Cooked Polenta 
Parmesan Polenta
Plate the pork chops and spoon the remaining maple syrup from the skillet on top. Serve polenta alongside, garnished with chopped rosemary. 

Pan-Roasted Maple Pork Chops with Parmesan Polenta


  1. I love the combination of flavors here! Maple and pork are an awesome combination and I love polenta and love that you paired it with the pork!

    Pinned and I am sharing with my Facebook readers!

    Found you on What'd you do this weekend blog hop!

    1. Thank you, Trisha --- much appreciated!