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Apricot-Cranberry Pork Chops

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apricot-cranberry-pork-chops

This recipe was one of those situations when I had a few ingredients on hand but no recipe to use them, so I went online, googled some things, added some twists and Voila!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons whole almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and and freshly ground pepper
  • Four 2-inch-thick, bone-in pork chops
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup Brandy or Cognac
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Directions:

Put the dried cranberries in a small bowl.  Pour 1/4 cup boiling water over the fruit and set aside for 10 minutes to soften.  Drain, reserve the soaking water.  Chop the apricot and the cranberries very finely.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix the fruit with the nuts, butter, fennel and half the onion until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pat the chops dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown one side of the chops until well-browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown the other sides of the chops, about 2 minutes. Transfer the chops to a baking sheet. Evenly spread about 1 ½ tablespoon of the mixed fruit over each one of the chops. Bake until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chops registers 135 degrees F, about 15 minutes.

While the chops are in the oven make the sauce. Drain the oil from the sauté pan. Take off the heat and add the brandy and remaining shallots. Return the pan to the heat, taking care since the alcohol may flambé, and cook over high heat until the alcohol is reduced by half and is slightly syrupy. Add the broth and the fruit soaked liquid and boil down until the liquid is reduced by about a third. Add the heavy cream and continue to simmer until it thickens slightly. Mix in the mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add any juices that have accumulated on the baking sheet to the sauce. Divide the chops among 4 plates or a large platter. Pour on the sauce and serve. It goes great with a Zinfandel.

Notes:

This recipe was one of those situations when I had a few ingredients on hand but no recipe to use them, so I went online, googled some things, added some twists and Voila!

The original recipe calls for pork chops with no bones attached and the fruit and nut top is stuffed into the chops. Since the chops I had on hand had bones I had to adapt! Well, I can tell you that the results turned out great! Now, maybe next time I will try with it boneless chops. I am sure it will be delicious too! I will let you know.

I served this dish with a side of roasted asparagus and it was really good! The asparagus were really easy to make. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and roasted them for about 15 minutes. Before placing the asparagus in the oven I mixed them with some olive oil, minced fresh garlic, salt, and pepper. Delicious and healthy!!

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving - Calories 554.4 - Total Fat 38.2 g - Cholesterol 154.7 mg - Sodium 158.7 mg - Potassium 569.2 mg - Total Carbohydrate 18.8 g - Dietary Fiber 2.1 g - Sugars 12.5 g - Protein 27.8 g

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