Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Maple-Whiskey Pork Chops

I have a confession to make. I hate Guy Fieri with the passion of a Telemundo Soap Opera, but I kinda like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It is a great concept for a show and I want Food Network to fire that frosted-tipped looser and get a host who doesn’t make me want to throw things at my TV. But on a lazy Sunday afternoon when I’m trying to take a cat nap and there’s nothing good on TV (I'm looking at you, Bravo), I will watch Guy annoy the crap out of interesting food entrepreneurs across the country. The reason is this: his fixers always seem to find legitimate local chefs with serious talent who have opened up restaurants using unique ingredients and cooking techniques. These little joints have become mainstays in their communities and they seem to be turning out crazy good food. Last week, I watched a tattooed hipster make a maple-glazed pork chop that made my mouth water. I needed one pronto. This recipe pays homage to that guy. If I do ever see the other Guy, though, I will most likely try to knock his backward sunglasses off.
Maple-Whiskey Pork Chops
2 pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 tsp whole allspice
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons whiskey

1. To make the pork chops extra juicy, I brine them overnight before I am going to make them. To do this, combine the brown sugar, salt, whole spices, and bay leaves. Add 2 cups of warm water.
2. Add the pork chops and leave for 12-24 hours. There was actually a sale on thick pork chops last week and I bought a few and froze some. I put two frozen chops straight into the brine and into the fridge to defrost. Worked like a charm.
3. After they are brined, remove chops, rinse very, very well, and pat them dry. They are already well seasoned from the brine, so they do not need any salt or pepper on them at this point.
4. Combine syrup and whiskey in a small bowl.5. Throw the chops onto a hot grill pan or grill for 4 minutes and then flip. If you put the glaze right on the raw chops, the sugars from the syrup will burn before the chop is fully cooked. Let is sear on one side first, and then apply the glaze to the cooked side. Repeat this for the other side so that you only put the glazed side down on the heat for a minute.
6. Liberally brush half of the maple syrup-whisky sauce over the chop. After four more minutes, flip again to sear in the glaze.7. Use the rest of the glaze to brush onto the other side.
8. After another minute, flip the chops again and sear the glaze on the other side for one minute. All in all you cooked the chops for 4 minutes on one side, flip, 4 minutes on the other side, flip, 1 minute, flip, 1 more minute, done.
9. Take the pork chops off the grill and serve.
I served them with a side of steamed baby bok choy and sautéed sweet potatoes and apples. They went quick!

1 comment:

  1. YUM YUM YUM. Making this.

    SNL hasn't been very funny lately but they're dead on with Guy Fieri: