Somehow I have fallen out of the habit of creating a quick weeknight dinner– but this is just that. Not counting the 30 mins it took to defrost the pork chops in my freezer [remember the defrost trick- put meat in a ziplock and submerge in hot water]- this whole recipe takes maybe 15 minutes. And I always love meals that can be made from things laying around the cupboard. Now perhaps it is the frozen peas/rice/bacon accompaniment I served it with- or the silver US Airways dinner trays I have- but this really reminded me of a retro TV dinner- in the best way possible. Had I had them though- I think some roast brussel sprouts would have been a perfect side dish. And maybe some… dare I say, mashed sweet potatoes? Talk about a fall meal.
Speaking of great seasonal recipes— my deepest apologies for a snafu– i mistype on the measurements for the ginger molasses cookies. it is 1/4 cup of molasses- not 1/2. thanks so much to Jess P. for finding that!
An America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated recipe
½ cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider or juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
pinch cayenne pepper
4 boneless, center-cut pork loin chops, 5 to 7 oz each, ½ to ¾ in thick
1 tablespoon vegetable oil [I used grapeseed, same difference]
1. Combine all glaze ingredients in medium bowl [or measuring cup]; mix thoroughly and set aside.
Trim the chops by slashing through the fat and silver skin with sharp knife, making 2 cuts about 2 inches apart in each chop (do not cut into meat of chops). Pat chops dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. [i just lightly scraped them with a knife]
2. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Add pork to skillet and cook until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
Turn chops and cook 1 minute longer; transfer chops to plate and pour off any oil in skillet.
NOTE: If your chops are on the thinner side, check their internal temperature after the initial sear. If they are already at the 140-degree mark, remove them from the skillet and allow them to rest, tented with foil, for 5 minutes, then add the platter juices and glaze ingredients to the skillet and proceed with step. [i didn’t thermometer measure mine- but they were quite thin- so I did only 4 minutes. 1 minute other side. rested for 5. I would say they were perhaps a minute overdone]
3. When chops have rested, add any accumulated juices to skillet and set over medium heat. Add glaze mixture.
Simmer, whisking constantly, until glaze is thick and color of dark caramel (heatproof spatula should leave wide trail when dragged through glaze), 2 to 6 minutes. [surprisingly didn’t take long at all]
Return chops to skillet; turn to coat both sides with glaze. Transfer chops back to platter, browned side up, and spread remaining glaze over chops. Serve immediately.