Sunday, February 26, 2006

Pork Chops in Mustard Sauce with Polenta "Fries"

We love pork around here, as you can see I cook with it at least once a week. The original pork chop recipe was passed to me by my friend Emily, and it looked pretty good to me so I only made a few changes.

The polenta fries were a complete whim, but they worked well and the flavors were quite nice with the mustard sauce. I am sure you could make your own polenta instead of using the 5 minute boxed kind, but there's only so much I can do, folks. Well, really, I just already had the boxed stuff, so convenience prevailed.

Pork Chops in Mustard Sauce with Polenta "Fries"
serves 2

The heat of the dish should just wilt your spinach, adding a nice textural element.

for the polenta fries:
1 box instant sundried tomato polenta
olive oil

Prepare polenta as directed, then pour into an 8 x 8 baking pan and pat into a uniform, flat square. Let sit, either on the counter or in the refrigerator, for at least an hour so it firms up really well. Slice into 1 inch thick, 3 inch long "fries".

Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a fry pan over medium-high heat. Use a flexible spatula to remove a few of the fries from the pan at a time, and fry on all sides, working in batches. I recommend using a splatter guard--the oil splashes a LOT and makes quite a mess of your stovetop. Drain briefly on a paper towel lined plate before serving.

for the pork chops in mustard sauce:

2 pork center loin chops, about 1 inch thick
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
olive oil
.25 cup dry white wine
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
.25 cup stock
spoonfull chicken demi-glace (optional)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
dash Worcetershire sauce
baby spinach

Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add some olive oil and heat until it just begins to smoke. Add chops, turn heat to high. Brown on both sides for 1-2 minutes per side.

Reduce heat to medium and add wine, garlic, and shallots. Cook, turning chops occasionally, until the wine is all but evaporated. Add stock, turn heat to low, and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning chops once or twice.

Place a handful of baby spinach on each dinner plate. Place pork on top of spinach. Turn heat to medium high and add butter, lemon, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Scraping up the browned bits in the pan, reduce sauce slightly.

Arrange polenta fries on top of pork chops and spoon the sauce over everything. Serve immediately.

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