January 31, 2011

Orange-Chipotle Pork Chops

If you've been reading our blog for awhile, you know that I like to combine pork with a fruit sauce or glaze.  You have also probably noticed that I like spicy things.   I decided to combine those two likings in a new recipe, and after considering options, I decided to base a sauce around orange and chipotle, and in order to make the sauce reasonably thick, I decided to start out with orange marmalade.

Once that decision was made, the rest was pretty easy.  Smoky chipotle and adobo are great in southwestern cooking, so I decided to add a few other southwestern touches to the meal by sprinkling the chops with a bit of cumin and oregano (along with salt and pepper) before cooking them, and to incorporate a bit of fresh cilantro in with the chipotle and orange marmalade.

The result was quite good:  thin pork chops quick-cooked and lightly coated with a sweet, spicy, slightly smoky sauce.  In addition to being tasty, this is a really quick dish - it took well under 30 minutes to prepare the chops.  

I served them up with Tex-Mex Rice, using a recipe from the September 2010 issue of Cook's Country.  I'd made it before and we'd both liked it, and it was good again this time, and a nice companion to the chops. It would work just as well as a side dish with any number of southwestern and Mexican dishes. 

The rice took a bit more time to prepare and make, but not a lot.... in just over an hour, total, we had a delicious and satisfying dinner on the table.

Orange-Chipotle Pork Chops

yield = 3 servings

1/4       cup orange marmalade
1          tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1          tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2    teaspoon minced chipotle chili + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
6          thin center-cut pork loin chops
3/4       teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
1/2       teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1.2       teaspoon table salt
1/4       cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth

Combine marmalade, chipotle and adobo sauce and cilantro in a small bowl.  Mix and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Season both sides of the pork chops with pepper, cumin, oregano and salt.  Cook the chops in batches, two minutes per side or until golden brown.  Transfer cooked chops to a plate.

Add marmalade mixture to the pan, cook 30 seconds, then stir in the chicken stock or broth.   Cook about 3 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and reduces slightly.

Return the chops to the skillet and cook 1 minute, turning once.   Arrange the chops on a serving platter, spoon glaze over the chops and serve.

When I cooked this up, I used a full tablespoon of minced chipotle.   This was pretty spicy, more than Juli liked, so the recipe above reflects me reducing the amount of this ingredient.  If you like your food spicy, go with a full tablespoon of the chipotle.

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