Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Experiments with Sage and Pork Chops

For years, I've been making Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce pretty much every time I buy pork chops. Once in a while, I'll mix it up and make Wiener Schnitzel or some other time-consuming dish, but my mainstay is just so quick and easy.

However, after experimenting in my culinary class with sage, one of the few herbs my sensitive palate doesn't hate, I decided to try to throw something together with my new favorite herb.

Unfortunately, my new favorite herb didn't add quite as much flavor to the dish as I thought it would, but because I brined the pork chops (the secret to success every time, it seems) they still turned out buttery and delicious:

Sage Pork Chops
3 cups water
1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
4 boneless pork chops
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 large sage leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon

In a large glass bowl with a lid, stir water, peppercorns sugar, salt, sage and zest until salt has dissolved. Add pork chops. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours.

Discard brine, then rinse pork chops and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet big enough to fit all the pork chops over medium heat. Cook sage in oil for 1-2 minutes on each side, but do not burn. Remove sage from skillet and set aside. Place garlic cloves in oil and cook until brown and fragrant. Discard garlic.

Place pork chops in skillet and cook on each side for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned. A meat thermometer should register 155 degress Fahrenheit. Set pork chops on a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add the lemon juice to the olive oil and let simmer until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Drizzle sauce over pork chops and garnish with cooked sage leaves.

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