Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Pork Chops with Balsamic Glaze

I read Gourmet magazine, but have to confess that I've hardly ever made anything from it. Most of the recipes seem just a bit too fussy for me, since I'm usually cooking after work and want something quick. But this recipe from the latest issue (March 2006) sounded great, although it called for shallots which I didn't have. It's the kind of recipe that takes ingredients that are ordinary and transforms them into something quite memorable. Even without the shallots, I thought this recipe was completely a keeper.

I made this with those big, thick pork chops that you buy in a large package at Costco. Besides leaving out the shallots, I couldn't resist seasoning the pork chops with a bit of pork chop seasoning from Penzeys, which I think is a great spice blend. If you don't have that, I'm sure this would be great without it. I didn't replace the small amount of sugar in the recipe with Splenda because I wanted the glazing effect that sugar produces, but you could certainly do that if you wanted to. Truthfully though, I wouldn't worry about it too much since the only thing in the entire dish that has any carbs to speak of is that tiny bit of sugar. Vinegar not only has very few carbs and a G.I. value of zero, but it also reduces the glycemic index of other foods, which is why salad dressing that contains vinegar is such a good choice if you're following a low-glycemic eating plan.

Pork Chops with Balsamic Glaze
(Makes four servings, adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

Ingredients:
4 center cut boneless pork chops, pounded to 3/4 inch thick
1 tsp. Vege-sal or slightly less than 1 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. Penzeys Pork Chop Seasoning (optional, contains salt, hickory smoke, garlic, onion, white pepper, and ginger)
2 T olive oil
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. sugar

Instructions:
Trim fat from pork chops, and pound each chop to 3/4 inch thickness. Season chops on both sides with Vege-sal or salt, pepper, and pork chop seasoning if using.

Heat pan 1 minute, add olive oil, heat one minute more, then add pork chops and cook over medium high heat until well browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Remove pork chops to plate, lower heat slightly, and add vinegar and sugar and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Put pork chops back into pan with any liquid which has collected on plate, and cook about 4 minutes, turning several times to glaze pork chops with sauce. Serve hot, with sauce poured over.



South Beach Suggestions:
This would be a great dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. It would taste great with Cauliflower Fried in Butter or Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Hoisin Sauce. For a more substantial meal you could add a side dish like Barley with Dried and Fresh Mushrooms.

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34 comments:

  1. Kalyn, that pork chop looks incredible, way more exciting than the boring chops my mom made for us as a kid, and I'll put balsamic on just about anything, but never thought to put them on pork choppers.
    Thanks for the great idea!

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  2. Oh boy!! That looks wonderful, can feel the Homer Simpson drool starting. And thank goddness for Penzeys.

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  3. Oh I love pork chops with balsamic vinegar and your photo is just so tempting!

    And quilting ... I wish I had time to quilt nowadays. I used to help my mum and we produced some masterpieces. The last time I made a quilt it was for my niece, which apparently she still clings to even though she's "all grown up" now. Sigh.

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  4. They look really good, I often get por chops so I will have to remember this for when the week of veggie eating is over :)

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  5. Yum, Kalyn those pork chops look picture perfect! My mouth is watering just thinking about how good they must have been.

    Excellent!!

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  6. Kalyn, I love to glaze all things meat with balsamic vinegar. And your post reminds me, that I haven't done it in quite some time, so the shopping list for the weekend is set ;) Thanks for the little reminder!

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  7. That's an extremely useful recipe. I LOVE balsamic vinegar. I could drink it I love it so much. That is a great recipe for Costco pork (we do the same in my house--buy bulk and freeze!).

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  8. I made these last night. One word: YUMMMMEEEE. I guess that's a word.

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  9. Made this today without the Penzeys. It was good but felt like it was missing something. Next time I'll have to try the pork spice. :)

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  10. If I was making this and didn't have the Pork Chop Seasoning (which is fantastic, and Penzeys isn't paying me to advertise for them in case anyone is wondering!) I would use whichever of the spices listed that you have on hand.

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  11. I wanted to say that I had some leftovers yesterday after my husband ate some. (He enjoyed!)I'm eating the leftovers today for lunch and I have to say I love it as leftovers too. It's not as strong tasting but still REALLY good. Husband said this would be perfect with a ton of fresh crisp veggies.

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  12. I've avoided South Beach because I have always been the girl who gets lost in the grocery store, and cooking isnt exactly my thing. I've been on it for a week and have been making your recipes every night, and they have all been so easy to follow and absolutely delicious!

    I'm making these tonight- Thanks for all the great ideas!

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  13. Thanks Alison, and stick with it on South Beach; it's not that bad at all.

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  14. Thank you. I really enjoyed this recipe! I didn't have the seasoning blend you talked about, so I made up something of my own that I thought might be similar, and I thought it turned out wonderfully:

    ~1-2 tsp fresh grated ginger; 1tsp each of kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, smoked paprika, dried garlic and dried onion granules.

    I salt and peppered each side of the pork chops and rubbed in about 1/2 to 1/4 tsp of this blend on each side of the pork chop and then cooked it as you specified. It turned into a wonderful balsalmic-ginger glaze. It was so... delicious and surprisingly easy!!! Definitely a recipe to keep!

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  15. Anonymous, your version of the pork chop seasoning sounds fantastic. Glad to hear you liked the recipe.

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  16. Yummy! I had planned to try your "Grilled Pork Chops with Soy Sauce, Cumin, Lime, and Oregano" but it came to dinner time and I had forgotten to marinade it! So I searched the site to see what we could make and found this recipe.

    The whole family (including 3-,6-, and 9-year olds!) LOVED it! They even talked about it the next morning!

    Thanks!

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  17. Jenni, how fun. I'm so happy to hear it was a hit, even with the kids.

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  18. These are absolutely fabulous -- serve them to company and get ready for the compliments. I did not have the Penzey's so I just used some garlic powder and pepper. My whole family loved them.

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  19. Amy, thanks for taking time to let me know how much you liked them!

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  20. OMG... I'm a starving college student, and I just had the best meal I've had in weeks. Thank you so much for this recipe!

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  21. Jason, glad you liked it! Don't want any college students starving, that's for sure!

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  22. Hi Kalyn, I made this last night (and I'm the same person who made the Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms two nights ago - I'm a little balsamic crazy these days!!) It was super yummy and I even enjoyed some leftovers today (and I hardly ever enjoy leftover meat because reheating makes it dry, but adding the glaze made it so juicy and sweet!)

    I went ahead and included the shallots since I had them on hand. I also used the smallest bit of sugar even though I'm on phase 1, because of what you said about vinegar reducing the G.I. of other foods. (Plus, I reasoned with myself that my calcium supplements have sugar, and so do all the cough drops I've been popping these last couple weeks due to a nagging cold!) Anyway - thank you SO much for this great recipe.

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  23. My fiance and I recently went on the South Beach diet to try to lose weight and get fit. We were stuck in a rut of eating out way too much (and eating badly) because we are both grad students (well, I graduated in May and now teach 6 writing classes at the university here). With just over three months to go until our wedding, I was tired of whining about losing weight and decided to do something about it. We tried this recipe tonight with some roasted green beans (the recipe with shrimp--we just left that part out). It was amazing. Thank you sooo much for all your recipes! This is the best diet I've ever been on (even though I love bread and miss it terribly...I'm only on day 2). Thanks again!

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  24. Bex, glad you liked the recipe. Hang in there, it will get easier and in a few weeks you can have whole wheat bread!

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  25. Thanks, Kalyn, for sharing this recipe. -Tien :)

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  26. Went to the doctor this morning and got a little concerned over some new lbs. That being said, the books are in the mail and I just made these for dinner. They are delicious! I have hope that South Beach will work with items like this on the menu. Thanks for an amazing site.

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  27. Dana, good luck with the diet. I know it will work if you stick with it, and reading the book is the best place to start. Hope the blog is helpful too.

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  28. Just made this for dinner and it was amazing! My husband and I love your recipes!

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  29. Janelle, thanks! So nice of you to let me know.

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  30. Made this for dinner tonight. So easy and oh so good! It looks beautiful on the plate, too!

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  31. Kalyn-

    Thank you for being my go-to blog for lastminute recipe ideas. In the cab on the way home, I googled your site, found this recipe, stopped at the store and got the chops, and served it along with some roasted potatoes and veggies.

    I used homemade Erbe Toscana as the spice since I did not have the one you used - it tasted great!

    I had been so tempted to order in... Thanks for making it easy to cook at home!

    Peggy

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  32. Peggy, so glad I am inspiring you to cook. This is one of the many posts I still want to make and take new photos, but I still remember how tasty it was!

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  33. Made this tonight!!! Thank you it was very quick and very delicious!! :)

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible. Sometimes I'm answering by iPhone, so my replies may be short!

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