Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Plum sauce, a success story

A full service, local foods co-op, Main Market Co-op, opened in our city about a year ago, from which my lovey, Rick, obtained a membership. We had hardly used it, as he kept going to the deli there to buy lunches of salads, etc., most of which were food/herb combinations I just couldn't palate, so he gave up and we stopped going there ... until this summer when we discovered their local produce boxes. $30 for a large box, $15 for a small box. Check out the list at the link above, and you'll see how truly great a deal that really is. The two of us go through a large box in about a week to 10 days.

One of the fun things with the produce boxes is getting vegetables and fruit with which I haven't cooked, either at all or not much, so I get to explore new recipes and ideas. As I've said before, I've only recently discovered how much I like to cook, and I'm enjoying experimenting, especially when the dish comes out really, really yummy, as was the case last night! We had received about a half pound of plums in our produce box, and I had some pork chops in the freezer. I thought, hmmm ... I'm forever seeing pork paired with fruit sauces, but I've never tried them. So I googled 'pork chop plum sauce', found a recipe for pork chops with ginger plum sauce, and naturally proceeded to change it to suit my own tastes and the ingredients I had available. It turned out FANTASTIC! I'm talking lick-your-plate-clean good.


Here's what I did:

1/2 to 3/4 pound plums
1 1/2 large garlic clove
4 pork chops (each about 1 inch thick)
vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp peeled & finely grated fresh ginger root
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp red-wine vinegrar
2 tbsp honey, plus 4 more or to suit your taste
1/2 tsp tarragon
1 tbsp all purpose flour

Quarter and pit plums and mince garlic. Combine soy sauce, red wine vinegar honey and tarragon in a bowl, set aside. Pat pork chops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a 12-inch heavy skillet heat a few turns of the pan of oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown pork chops about 2 minutes on each side, transfer to a plate. Add a turn of oil, then add the garlic and gingerroot to skillet and sauté (don't worry about the bits stuck to the bottom - leave them there!), stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and tarragon mixture and bring to a simmer (it'll probably boil as soon as it hits the pan). Return pork chops to skillet and arrange plums around them. Simmer mixture, covered, over moderately low heat 50 minutes, or until meat is very tender. Transfer chops to a platter. Sauce will be at a simmer, sprinkle flour into sauce, about a half tablespoon at a time while stirring constantly until you reach the desired consistency (for me it was about 1 1/2 tbsp). Pour sauce over chops and garnish with scallion and plum (optional).

This turned out sooooooo yummy ... tonight I'm going to make Turkey Leek Burgers with Apples and Sage Mayo.

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