Most of the time when I go grocery shopping I already have a good idea of what I feel like making for the week. However, every once in a while I will see an ingredient that catches my eye and inspires me to come up with a new dish. This weekend it happened when I was at Trader Joes. I saw some beautiful frenched pork chops and I just had to come up with a new way to prepare them. For last nights dinner I made Honey Jack Peppercorn Pork Chop served with simply steamed artichoke served with butter.
One of the things I love most about cooking is being creative and coming up with new flavors. I’ve had friends ask me “how do you know the flavors you are combining will taste good together?” The short answer is I can never be sure. Yet, the way I cook is not by following recipes but rather by understanding the fundamental concepts of cooking and how ingredients work together. Although there are thousands of flavors, there are only a few flavor types (salty, sweet, spicy, sour and bitter). As long as a dish is well balanced between those flavor types then the resulting dish should turn out pretty tasty. For this dish, I used the following ingredients:
- Orange Juice (sweet and sour) ~ 1 cup
- Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey (sweet) ~ 2 Tbsp
- Maple Syrup (sweet) ~ 2 Tbsp
- Pepper Corns (spicy) ~ 15 – 20 black peppercorns
- Salt (salty) ~ 2 Tbsp
- Sugar (sweet) ~ 1 Tbsp
- Ice ~ 1 cup
In a small sauce pan add in the orange juice, salt and sugar and bring to a boil so the salt and sugar dissolve completely. Once your salt and sugar have dissolved, turn off the heat and add in the maple syrup, jack daniels, peppercorn and ice. Once the marinade is cold, place your pork chops into a medium plastic bag and pour in the cold marinade. Seal up the bag and let the meat marinade over night.
When you are ready to cook your pork chops remove them from the bag and pat them dry. In a saute or frying pan add in cooking oil and place over high heat. Once your pan is hot place your pork chops directly into the middle of the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Start each side on high heat for 30 seconds then drop the head down to medium. While your pork chops cook, prepare your artichoke and place them in the steamer. Steam for roughly 10 – 12 minutes. Once your pork chops are done seal them in aluminum foil and let them sit for at least 10-15 minutes to let the juices settle. This way your pork chop stays juicy instead of having a dry piece of meat where all the juices run out the minute you cut into the pork chop. By the time your pork chops is done and rested, your steamed artichoke should also be ready to enjoy.