The Sweet, the Sour, and the Pork Chop

I have to say that the best way for me to keep my healthy eating habits on track is to visit the farmer’s market. The stacks of kale, lettuce, and other greens, little baskets of berries, cartons of fresh colourful peppers… It makes me want to fill my fridge with only fresh, local ingredients, make hearty, yummy meals and baked goods for my husband and little girl, and do some yoga. Because we all know that doing a half hour of yoga every day means we can eat more cupcakes…

But I digress…

My in-laws and I stopped by the local farmer’s market on Saturday morning and as we wandered by my favourite meat vendor, the gorgeous pork chops reminded me of a recipe my husband and I had made a couple months ago and I had wanted to try again. It’s a perfect candidate for this blog, as it’s delicious, fairly popular on Pinterest, and it needs a few modifications from what is written.

This recipe is from Damn Delicious. I have tried quite a few of the recipes from there and every one of them (even the one I don’t think I’ll be making again) is delicious… The go-back-for-seconds kind of delicious… Skip-dessert-to-have-seconds kind of delicious… Seriously. If you’re hungry, go browse Chungah’s blog, pick whatever strikes your fancy, and I’m positive it will be yummy. She has yet to steer me wrong (even if the instructions aren’t always perfect), which is impressive considering she has no culinary training. Yes, I’m fan-girling. Deal with it!

Back to today’s recipe… Easy Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Glaze. The first time I made this, I had quite a conundrum trying to figure out what a good side would be for these. In the end, we ended up having buttery egg noodles and a refreshing cucumber salad (I’ll post hubby’s recipe for it another time). This time, I forgot to pick up the egg noodles at the grocery store (I was preoccupied with trying to find apple cider vinegar but they were out!), so we had couscous and a small salad. The couscous was much better for soaking up the yummy glaze from the chops, and since I made it in the rice cooker, it was quick and effortless. You can’t go wrong with that!

But what about those pork chops?

Yield:

  • Original Yield: 4 pork chops
  • Actual Yield: 4 pork chops (this recipe is easily halved with no repercussions, but you may want to make extra glaze… It’s heaven!

Prep time:

  • Original time: 10 minutes
  • Actual Time: 10 minutes, less if you’re doing half the recipe… For me, the 10 minutes included popping the quinoa into the rice cooker too!

Cook time:

  • Original Time: 10 minutes, may vary with pork chop size (check notes below for temperature); the glaze is easily made in this time limit
  • Actual Time: 21 minutes (20 minutes the first time I made these)… I’m thinking the time is off because of the size of my chops, as mine were larger than those noted in the recipe (although not much larger); the glaze took 8 minutes for me

Notes or comments from the author:

  • Chungah writes that the pork chops should be done to 140F… Both times I made this recipe, the chops were still quite pink inside at 140F (they were smaller the first time and it was the same in both cases). My meat thermometer suggests 170F as the internal temperature for pork and that’s the temperature I cooked them to both times… Please make sure to check the doneness by cutting into the meat and make sure the thermometer isn’t too close to the bone when you’re checking your chops
  • If you’re using larger chops and will have to double the cooking time like I did, don’t start the glaze right away. It reduces easily, but when made in advance, it thickens a bit too much and I had to thin it out a little before pouring into my pork chops… That being said, you can add the pan juice from the chops or more balsamic vinegar (about one tablespoon of either) to thin out the glaze if it’s not easy to pour.

Verdict: Success (with modifications)! This recipe is one I will definitely go back to… Especially on a weeknight where I don’t have a lot of time to cook. These chops are delicious, the sweet and sour glaze is phenomenal, and you can pair this dish with any starch (I can’t wait to try the glaze over some mashed potatoes!) and a refreshing vegetable side. It may not be a 20-minute meal, but with everything taking about 40 minutes from the very start to being on my table, it’s a winner in my books. Especially since a plain pasta dish usually takes about 30 minutes… And this is so much better than pasta!!

I really need to stop using my phone for food pictures… But here goes nothing: 
 

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**Please note, the recipe for Easy Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Glaze is in no way mine. The views and experiences above are mine and not endorsed/influenced by Damn Delicious or any other third party.

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