Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quick-Brined Pork Chops with Fruit Compote

My sister just sent this recipe from William Sonoma. She said that her husband liked it so much that he wanted it again the next night.  We've replaced the maple flakes (who has that on the shelf?) with maple syrup.

2 cups room-temperature water
2 star anise pods
3 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
6 tablespoons kosher salt
4 cups ice water
6 boneless pork chops, each about 8 oz. and 3/4 to 1 inch thick
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup diced dried apricots
¾ cup apple cider
3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

Brine chops:
 In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the room-temperature water, star anise, 2 of the bay leaves, 1 of the cinnamon sticks, the thyme, red pepper flakes, black peppercorns, maple flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, then transfer to a large bowl and add the ice water. Submerge the pork chops in the brine and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Make Compote:
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, apple cider, brown sugar, the remaining bay leaf and cinnamon stick, the cayenne and apples and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 8 minutes. Uncover and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes more. Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Serve the fruit compote warm or at room temperature.

Grill Chops:
Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Drizzle the olive oil over the chops and rub evenly on both sides. Grill chops,about 4 minutes per side, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chops registers 145°F. Transfer the chops to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the fruit compote and smashed potatoes. Serves 6.

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