Monday, August 25, 2008

Pork Chops with Fig Sauce


***Okay...here it is! As promised, here's the savory fig recipe that I mentioned in the fresh fig bread post below. This was seriously good...not to mention the delicious aroma that wafted through the entire house while it was cooking. If you can get your hands on some fresh figs, you ought to give this one a try! When combined, the figs and pork make a scrumptious combination.

There's also another huge pile of fresh figs sitting in my fridge right now....YUM! I have no idea what to cook with them yet. If anyone has any suggestions, PLEASE share them! I need to use them up in the next few days before they go bad. I think I might make some more fig bread...that stuff didn't last long!***

Ingredients:
4 (about 8 ounces each) boneless pork top loin chops, 1-1/2 inches thick
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle peppers, or to taste (see Notes)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup minced onion
2 large cloved garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup diced fresh figs

Directions:
Place each pork loin chop between sheets of plastic wrap and pound down to a 1-inch thickness. Season with salt, pepper, and ground chipotle.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Sear pork loin chops until golden brown on each side, turning only once. Remove to a platter and keep warm.

Reduce heat, add onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute an additional 1 minute. Carefully pour in red wine and stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up browned bits. Cook 1 minute, then add chicken broth, thyme, and figs. Cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring often and mashing the figs until the sauce is thickened.

Return pork loin chops to the pan, along with any juices that have accumulated on the platter, and coat both sides with sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes. Serve pork loin chops with the fig sauce.

3 comments:

Katie said...

YAY! More fig recipes! This is going to be perfect when I get a huge amount from my dad!

Anonymous said...

Somehow a fig tree self-planted my yard about four or five years ago and I had no clue what to do with it. In fact, I almost tore it out at a few inches off the ground thinking it was a weed, only to spare it once the beautiful leaves began to emerge. Little did I know this tree would lead to one of the best meals I've ever cooked at home, thanks in no small part to your mouth-watering Pork Chops with Fig Sauce recipe!

Earlier this week I ate my first fresh fig off my tree, and decided that their delicious sweetness simply couldn't go to waste. That's when I set out in search of fig recipes, which ultimately led me to Sugar & Spice. Wow. This was one heck of a meal thanks to your precise cooking instructions.

Cooking novice though I generally am — I admit I usually leave meal preparation to my ever-loving DH — I even made use of the leftover ingredients. For instance, I reserved the remainder of the chicken broth for a cast iron dutch oven filled with a handful of sliced yukon potatoes and a medium size yam, which I impulsively seasoned with kosher salt, a bit of fresh ground pepper, a dash of diced sweet onions, a tad of fresh, minced garlic and a sprig of fresh rosemary from my herb garden. I topped it off with a splash of tarragon vinegar and olive oil thrown in for good measure and let the potatoes steam and simmer until they were just right (luckily, they didn't become overly mushy or starchy).

With a pat of butter, the potatoes formed the perfect complement to the pork with savory fig sauce. Now I've never been much of a cook, and in part that is because recipes usually bore me and I can't, for the life of me, bring myself to stick with them. Experiments are not typically a great success, but they make cooking creative, which is the only time my interest holds. However, I stuck to your recipe as written and I can't think of anything I would change in the least. For me, that's saying something.

I used California Merlot for the red wine called for in the recipe, and also served it alongside the meal for a seamless complement. Truthfully, I am pretty ignorant to food/wine combinations. However, I must say the merlot was an absolutely fabulous complement to the meal, unlike any impression I've come away with any other meal wherein wine is served (trendy restaurants and wine snob family members included). I am one of those rare people who does not typically find any reason at all to drink — hence the overall ignorance on this topic — but I absolutely must say I will never serve this meal without the potatoes and the merlot alongside it. It just flows. Call it beginner's luck, but I credit a large part of that to having an excellent recipe to start with. I have dozens of cookbooks on my shelf, many of them out-of-print hand-me downs, and yet somehow my track record is to be disappointed with or screw up a great deal of them. That is why I'm still pinching myself that this meal from start to finish was worthy of a true blue foodie or five-star restaurant.

In short, thank you for opening up my culinary horizons. Now that I see the creative possibilities, I will be back to your blog for more inspiration!

Lorie said...

This is just the most fabulous compliment to pork chops. I made the fig topping on the stove while my hubby grilled the chops. We can't thank you enough for this marvelous recipe as we have 5 fig trees and always need more creative ways to use them.