Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Caramelized Pears

I eat a lot of chicken and fish, but variety is a good thing and once in a while I love a great pork chop!  This  is an excellent recipe that I enjoyed from the moment I tasted my first bite.  The pears and balsamic glaze blend harmoniously with the pork creating a dish that you will be wanting to make again and again.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 6 pork loin chops, 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Vidalia onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 pears, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the water, kosher salt, and sugar. Add pork chops to this brine, and let them soak for no more than one hour. Drain and discard the brine. Pat pork chops dry with paper towels.
  2. In a shallow dish, stir together the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Place pork chops in the dish, and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 or 2 hours.
  3. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by 1/2, about 10 minutes. When the vinegar cools, it should be the consistency of syrup.
  4. Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high or high heat. Add the onions and pears, and quickly brown. Continue to cook for about 7 minutes, or until tender.  The pears will cook quicker than the onions – Remove the pears and chop into cubes and continue to caramelize the onions.  Take onion out of pan once caramelized and chop.  Return both the pears and the onions to the pan. Stir in the reduced vinegar and salt. The recipe can be prepared up to this point several hours before grilling.
  5. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat.
  6. Warm pears on a cool section of the grill (in the skillet), while placing the pork chops over the hot part. Cook pork for about 3 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Remove to a serving plate, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for a few minutes. Uncover, top with the pear onion sauce, and serve.
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Balsamic Asparagus with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Feta

Somehow it just doesn’t seem right to slather butter and loads of cheese on vegetables.  Isn’t that defeating the purpose of eating healthy vegetables?  It is always a challenge to find new healthy ways to cook vegetables.  I discovered this recipe and loved it.  Not only is it flavorful, but quick and easy.  I have also made it on the grill and loved it even more.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • One bunch Asparagus
  • sprinkling of Feta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped, sun-dried Tomatoes (not packed in oil)
  • 2-3 tablespoons good quality Balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Trim the bottoms of your asparagus.  Quick and easy – microwave asparagus on a plate with a few tablespoons of water, covered with a paper towel, for a couple of minutes.  Be careful not to overcook.  My personal favorite – drizzle asparagus with olive oil and grill.

To finish, top with balsamic vinegar and other ingredients, season with salt and pepper as desired and serve.

 Source:  adapted from dailycrave.wordpress.com 
 

Grilled Gorgonzola Stuffed Pork Chops with Balsamic Pear Sauce

This post goes out to Cork and Spoon – check it out!  Cork and Spoon is a fantastic food blog written by two friends (Ruth & Emilie), that I have been following for a while.  A few weeks ago Ruth made Gorgonzola Stuffed Pork Chops.  When I saw the recipe it sounded so good I knew I would be making it!  I absolutely love gorgonzola and pears together … what a great flavor combination.  I changed the recipe a bit and put the pork chops in a brine, and then grilled them stuffed with gorgonzola, accompanied with a pear balsamic sauce on a bed of sautéed kale.  Thank you Ruth for the inspiration!  The pork chops stuffed with blue cheese were awesome!  The gorgonzola put them over the top.

Ingredients:

  •  2 pork chops
  • 2 medium sized shallots, chopped (approximately ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon
  • 2 Pears, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ – ¾ cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Prepare brine by adding 2 tablespoons salt and 1 tablespoon sugar to 2 cups of water, stir to combine.  Add pork chops to the brine and let them soak no longer than 1 hour.

While pork chops are in the brine pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by ½, about 10 minutes.  When the vinegar cools, it should be the consistency of syrup.  Set aside.

Melt butter and olive oil in a sauté pan and add shallots and cook until brown and caramelized.  Add pears and sauté briefly until semi-soft.  Add balsamic vinegar and stir until combined.  Keep warm on low heat.

In another sauté pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat.  Add kale and 2 tablespoons of chopped shallots and cook until kale is wilted.

Remove pork chops from their brine and pat dry.  Cut a slit in each pork chop and stuff with blue cheese.  Close with a toothpick.  Rub olive oil on both side of the pork chops and grill on a hot grill for approximately 4-5 minutes per side depending on thickness.

Place sautéed kale on a plate, top with pork chop and balsamic pear sauce.  Serve and enjoy!