Saturday, April 20, 2013

Harvest in April

Even tho I haven't finished turning over the grass in my garden plot, I had my first harvest of the season today.

There is a perennial and herb garden at my community garden. In this garden are two giant rhubarb plants. One is starting to flower, which our coordinator has never seen rhubarb do. While one of the gardeners doesn't think we should let it go to seed, we are considering letting it flower just to see what they look like, then cutting them off before they seed. Anyway, the other rhubarb was crying out to have some stalks harvested. So I did. I plucked seven fat stalks off, with the intention of bringing them home, cutting them all up and freezing them.

So I did just that. But I remembered that last year I made a rhubarb relish/chutney/sauce to go with pork chops. But I couldn't find the recipe (haha...didn't try looking here...wonder if it is here?). So I looked for a new one. Pinterest to the rescue! The recipe, from, was for four. I am solo tonight as Cupcake is at her dads. So I kind of halved the recipe and cooked one chop (I sprinkled some ground coriander on my chop as another recipe did). My only gripe is that the recipe called for "2 large stalks of rhubarb." Most rhubarb at the store is half the size of the ones I picked. Wish the recipe included a measurement rather than a quantity. Moving on. The recipe has shallots, garlic, ginger, fresh thyme (also from the herb garden), red wine, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and chicken stock. And rhubarb, of course. It was yum. Some other recipes mentioned their sauce would be good with sharp cheese or goat cheese. So I made mashed potatoes with goat cheese, and sprinkled some goat cheese on the chop. Mmmmmmmm.....

Pork Chops with Rhubarb Compote

4 boneless pork loin chops (1-inch-thick)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced (I finely chopped mine)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 large stalks rhubarb, diced in 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup Brown Chicken Stock (I used regular)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Pat pork chops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; add pork chops and cook, turning once, until nicely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to oven and roast until just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork chops to a plate and keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a medium skillet. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, and thyme and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook until reduced by half; add balsamic, maple syrup, chicken stock, and rhubarb. Cook until rhubarb has softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Add butter and swirl until melted and well combined; season with salt and pepper.

4. Divide pork chops evenly between 4 plates and top with compote; serve immediately.

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