Sunday, January 28, 2007

Monochromatic Meal

I am a fan of brightly-colored food, and in terms of visual appeal, I suppose this dish is a bit lacking. It makes up for that in flavor and texture. In my neverending quest to conquer foods with which I am uncomfortable or unfamiliar, I took on the pork loin chop. If you recall, I am still able to count the number of times I've cooked pork on one hand.

In search of a healthy, flavorful pork option, I ran across a recipe I'd clipped from a Cooking Light Idon'tknowhowlongago. Chicken breasts could easily be substituted for the pork. I think the pears sauteed in butter are by far the best part of this dish. I served it on a bed of braised savoy cabbage flavored with a little white wine vinegar.

Peppered Pork and Pears
1 t. olive oil
4 (4-0z) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (pound to about 1/2 inch thick)
2 t. coarsely ground mixed peppercorns or black pepper
1/2 t. salt, divided
1 t. butter
1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1-2 large, white part only)
2 firm Bartlett or Bosc pears, cored and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch-thick slices
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 t. rubbed sage

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with pepper and 1/4 t. salt. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove pork from pan; cover and keep warm.

Add butter and leek to pan; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Add pears. Reduce heat to medium; cook about 2 minutes, stirring gently. Add broth, wine, sage, and remaining salt; bring to a boil. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened, a couple minutes. Spoon sauce over pork.

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