Monday, September 27, 2010

autumntide pork chops with apple cider-sage-jalapeño glaze

Summer has passed in a haze of bottles and bodily fluids, but I'm finally awake enough to cook something again. It's fall. Hay manzanas.

1.5 cups or so of fresh apple cider. 1/3 c dry sherry. 1/4 c apple cider vinegar. 1/4 c olive oil. Several garlic cloves, a whole fresh jalapeño, a goodly amount of sage (I had bags and bags of it dried, left over from some apothecary applications, and used probably 1T, though it was very course and fluffy), and a brineworthy amount of salt (1.5T, I'd say). All of these into the processor, then pour it over a couple of pork chops and let sit for at least an hour. If these are "enhanced" pork chops from the supermarket, leave out or dramatically reduce the salt.

After an hour or more in the juice, take the chops out--reserving the marinade--pan fry and then finish in a hot oven. Meanwhile, strain the marinade and bring to a boil to reduce. Skim what rises (which will mostly be the olive oil), and gradually lower the heat as it reduces and thickens to a glaze. If you like, add more more sherry as this is taking place. Apply the glaze to the chops and the plate before eating. There you are.

This same thing works with pretty much any combination of juice, acid (if the juice itself isn't too acidic), and sugar (depending on how sweet the juice is), varying the other flavors as appropriate. The other day for more of a mojo thing, I did it with orange juice, white vinegar, even more garlic, oregano, and some sugar, and that worked great too.