Emeril's Honey-Brined Pork Chops with Nectarine Chutney
From the Farm to Your Forks
These brined pork chops are able to stand alone, but if you've already made the chutney (when the nectarines were in season and the getting was good), just grab the jar off the shelf and serve it alongside. Another way to make things simpler: Make the brine for the chops the night before. Then in the morning, before you go to work, just add them to the brine and they'll be ready for cookin' when you get home.
This nectarine chutney is tangy, with a slight sweet note from the nectarines. You could substitute peaches, apricots or plums in this recipe just as easily. We know it's delicious with the pork, but enjoy this chutney as a condiment on a cheese plate as well.
Make the chutney: Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook the chutney for 1 hour, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Carefully pour the hot chutney into three sterilized 8-ounce jars, and seal immediately. The chutney should be used within 6 months.
Make the pork: Pour the water, kosher salt and honey into a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and honey. Remove from the heat and add the thyme, the 1 tablespoon pepper, and the cloves. Set aside to cool. Then transfer the brine to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly, about 2 hours.
Submerge the pork chops in the cold brining liquid and marinate for 6 hours, refrigerated. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large grill pan or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chops with the 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cook the chops, in batches if necessary, until nicely browned on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer them to a roasting pan or baking sheet, and roast until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the chops to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve each pork chop with a spoonful of the nectarine chutney.
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, "Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Eating Fresh" courtesy MSLO, Inc
Food styled by Karen Pickus.