Monday, August 20, 2012

Soy-Glazed Pork Chops with Sauteed Spicy Green Beans and Tomatoes

In theory, pork chops and green beans sounds like an all-American meal.  But the pork chops had more of an Asian flair to them - a soy, ginger, garlic and honey marinade for the pork chops and the green beans had slightly Middle Eastern leanings - cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne.  Given the different flavor profiles the meal went together surprisingly well.  The pork chops were tender, and juicy with a slightly sweet, slightly spicy flavor.   I generally prefer using bone-in pork chops because boneless pork chops have a tendency to dry out on you, but these were not dry at all.  As for the green beans, they had a really nice blend of savory and sweet (thanks to the caramelized shallots and the cinnamon) flavors to them as well.  We didn't toast the almonds as much as we should have (there was too much going on so we took them out earlier than we usually do).  I really thought this was a very pleasant (although not very all-American) meal.  I would definitely use components of it again in the future.

Recipes after the jump!

Soy-Glazed Pork Chops
Adapted from Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans
By Susan Spicer

2 center-cut pork chops
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
healthy 1/2 tsp sambal oelek
1/4 tsp five spice
1 tsp canola oil, pus 1 tbsp for cooking

Rinse pork chops and pat dry with paper towels.  Mix other ingredients in small bowl and place marinade and pork chops in a resealable plastic bag to marinate.  Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.  Remove pork chops from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking so they can come up to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Using paper towels, pat pork dry of excess marinade.  Do not discard the marinade.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large ovenproof skillet (we used our cast iron) until shimmering.  Add the pork chops and reduce the heat to medium high.  Sear the pork chops until golden brown, around 2 minutes per side.  Baste with marinade and place the pan in the oven.  Roast until cooked through, about 5 minutes, turning once halfway through and basting lightly with reserved marinade.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Serve.

Sauteed Spicy Green Beans with Tomatoes
Adapted from Serious Eats

1 lb green beans, stem end trimmed (we used a combination of green beans and wax beans)
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
3 tablespoons evoo
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, optional
1/8 tsp ground cayenne, optional
15 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Fill a large bowl with water and ice; set aside. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, add the green beans. Bring back to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes (or until beans are tender - our wax beans in particular required more than 1 minute). In a colander, drain the beans, then plunge into the ice water. Remove the beans after 1 minute; drain and set aside.
In a large sauté pan or skillet, add the almonds and cook over medium heat, tossing often until fragrant and golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Place the almonds onto a plate; set aside. Wipe the pan clean.
In the same sauté pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, and the cinnamon and cayenne, if using, and cook for 1 minute. Add the green beans and stir to coat well with the onion and seasonings. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with additional s&p (if necessary).
Place the vegetables onto a serving dish. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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