Martha’s Sage Pork Chops in 15 Minutes

Today’s recipe came from Martha Stewart – the queen of modern recipes. (Sorry, Martha – but Julia Child shall always remain reining queen in my book). I love the title of Martha’s recipe – Sage  Pork Chops in 15 Minutes. Any time I can have a home cooked meal on the table in 15 minutes I’m there. Now in fairness to Martha, my chops are a bit larger than what the recipe calls for, so cooking time needed to be increased. Still, if my math skills are working 8 minutes to cook the chops, 2 minutes for the shallots and 3 minutes to reduce the sauce comes to 13 minutes. I guess the other 2 minutes are to season chops and chop shallots, although the shallots can be chopped while the chops are cooking, so that shouldn’t be a factor. Given that my chops are thicker, I’m still looking at dinner on the table in about 25 minutes – and that’s a win for busy cooks, right?

When trying out a new recipe for the first time that promises a short cooking time, there are too many variables to risk cooking a pot of rice. Which means I’ll be serving these chops with something easy from Uncle Ben’s. His variety of Ready Rices are perfect when there’s an uncertainty of timing or when time doesn’t allow rice to be cooked any other way. Have you tried any of these microwave rice dishes? If I’m walking through the door at 5:30, and dinner must be served at 6:00 to fit into other plans for the evening, I don’t have a minute to spare. It’s times like this that I reach into the pantry for some Uncle Ben’s. Vent the bag, pop it into a microwave and 90 seconds later you’ve got Wild Rice or Spanish Rice or any number of other rice dishes. I’m thinking Butter and Garlic sound about right with Sage Pork Chops. I’ve still got a jar of Dad’s home-canned Green Beans, so it will be an all-around delicious supper in no time flat.

The flavor of these chops is incredible – the sage compliments the wonderful flavor of pork, bringing it to new heights. The delicate yet distinct flavor of the finely minced shallots only pays further homage to the sage in the sauce. Finally, the pan dripping give a light, slightly smokey flavor to the finished dish. Everything comes together to delight the senses.

On a final note; the choice to go with Butter and Garlic rice was the perfect pairing. With my hungry guys, I typically serve two packages of rice – these take 90 seconds each. In the time it took to “zap” the rice, the sauce was finished and dinner served. This is definitely a scrumptious supper worth repeating.

Salt CellarThis recipe called for Coarse Salt. While Martha may have had fresh ground or Kosher Salt, I chose to go with an Atlantic Sea Salt from my collection. My romantic Hubby gave me the world for Christmas – as in a collection of salts from around the world. Such lovely salts deserved a equally lovely way to utilize them in my kitchen. Recently at one of our weekend antiquing excursions; I found the most exquisite vintage cut-crystal cellar rimmed in silver with a charming little sterling spoon. Now I wonder how I ever got along in the kitchen without these. So many salts to choose from, and a fun way to season.

Sage Pork Chops in 15 Minutes
Ingredients – Pork Chops
4 boneless pork loin chops (6 ounces each)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

Season pork generously with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium; add pork. Cook until browned and opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Transfer to a plate, and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. (A better way to keep warm is to transfer pork chops to a plate and cover by inverting a metal mixing bowl over plate. This will create a “dome” which will keep the chops warm while collecting steam to infuse chops in their own juices).

Ingredients – Sage Sauce
1 medium shallot, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon sage rub
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine

Add shallot to the now empty skillet; cook over medium, stirring until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Measure wine in a 1-cup measuring cup. Add sage, thyme, and wine, whisk to blend. Pour herb-wine mixture into the pan. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is reduced to about 1/3 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in any accumulated juices from plate with chops. Generously spoon pan sauce over pork chops and serve.

When plating pork chops, drizzle with sauce, and serve with rice.

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