Honey and Spice-Glazed Pork Chops

You know how it goes with best laid plans and all. It had been a very long week, and I was bushed. As Hubby and I sat at the light, we could smell the wonderful onions from a nearby In-N-Out Burger joint, and our mouths got to watering. While homemade In-N-Out Style Double-Double Burger were on this week’s planned meals, they were scheduled for Saturday. The Honey and Spiced-Glazed Pork Chops were planned for Friday. Hubby glanced over at the long line of cars circling the parking lot asked if we could maybe switch those around. The ingredients for both were sitting in the fridge – what the heck. In reality, I’m glad we decided to make the switch. Saturday was the day before the big game – with all the yummy finger foods to make, bake and otherwise create. Something simple and quick was just the right ticket. Switch we did.

I love pork chops. For the most part, they cook up quickly and easily. A little of this, a little of that and you’ve got a meal that is delicious in no time at all. Although not the fastest among my pork chop recipes, one of our favorites is Mexican Pork Chops with Ancho Chile Cornbread Stuffing. I thought the Mexican Pork Chops were going to remain Hubby’s all-time favorites until recently, when Hubby, Kiddo and I got together and cook up to-die-for Hunter’s Pork Chops. I’m always on the lookout for a new recipe to try. When Kiddo was a little Kiddo, we were big on the Book Fairs. He would tell me “you can’t have too many books”, which is exactly the way I feel about new recipes. There’s no such thing as too many. This little ditty is a recipe I picked up at Everyday Tastes.com – the recipe seemed very straight forward, and the photo on their website showed beautiful, glistening chops. Food needs to be appealing to the senses – the look and the aromas are the first things that greet you long before that first bite. If it looks bad and stinks, it’s hard to get that fork to your lips, although I must admit I’ve sampled some mighty tasty dishes over the years that at a glance were down right ugly!

While cooking up these chops, I learned a few things and needed to adapt quickly. The original recipe had the pork chops brushed with the glaze immediately after browning. While I started to follow those instructions, a little of the glaze dripped from the brush and the sugar in the honey began to brown quickly. It was necessary to turn down the heat more to the low of medium-low. Fearful that the chops would dry out, I added the chicken stock, let them “steam/simmer” in a covered pan. Once I was sure the chops were cooked through, I brushed on the glaze. Adding a little butter at the end gave a nice finish to the pan drippings. A little drizzle over the finished chops gave everything a deep, beautiful color.

Honey & Spice-Glazed Pork Chops
1/4  cup  honey
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2  teaspoon  ground ginger
1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
1/8  teaspoon  ground cloves
4  (4-ounce) boneless center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Tablespoons Butter

In a small bowl, combine honey, mustard and spices. Set aside until ready to use

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

Reduce heat to medium-low and chicken stock. Cover and cook for 10 minutes longer, or until pork is cooked through, turning once.

Brush pork chops with honey-spice mixture. Cook 3 minutes more. Turn, brush with remaining mixture. Add butter to pan and cook another 3 minutes.

Remove from pan and serve immediately.

If desired, serve on a bed of rice such as butter and garlic or a rice pilaf. You can also drizzle a little of the pan drippings over the chops.

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