December 24, 2005

Molasses-Brined Pork Chops

I've never hired a personal chef (I have too much fun cooking!), but now I've tried a recipe from one. Chef Nancy Ricks came up while I was searching online for a different sort of brine for pork chops. And if you are interested in reading more about what a personal chef does, there's an association of them: USPCA.

Molasses Brined Pork Chops

1 cup water
4 tsp kosher salt
1 TBSP brown sugar
2 tsp molasses
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
2 boneless pork chops

Rub mixture:
1/2 tsp dry sage
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced

2 TBSP flour
2 tsp olive oil

Prepare brine by mixing the ingredients in a large zip-lock and let marinate 8 hours or overnight. Remove chops from brine and discard brine. Prepare the rub mixture (I used a mortar and pestle) and rub over both sides of chops and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Dredge chops in flour. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and cook chops 8 minutes per side until done.

Served with Campus Oaks Pinot Noir. (The Campus Oaks Zin is a favorite of the house, but the pinot isn't nearly as impressive.)

Notes: This was certainly interesting to try, and the guarantee that the pork chops would stay moist from the brine was, of course, true. I didn't quite buy into the spice rub. It didn't quite have the right balance and blend of flavors. I think I would stick with the one from Julia's Special blend if I were to try this again. But I also came across a balsamic-based brine and a cider-based brine that will probably get a turn first.

Posted by Jennifer at December 24, 2005 9:55 AM | TrackBack

I agree, it was tasty enough, but the balance of the flavors in the spice rub wasn't very good, with some of the elements being almost entirely unnoticable. On the plus side, I thought the addition of the flour coating resulted in a nice crust.

Posted by: Michael at December 26, 2005 10:24 PM
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