Friday, January 21, 2011

Iowa Pork Chops

For over two years I have loved receiving my weekly order, which I fondly refer to as my "farm box," from Moore Farms and Friends. With the help of hoop houses, the associated farmers in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee manage to grow a pretty impressive array of wonderful vegetables and fruit throughout the winter months, and of course there is a veritable cornucopia in summer. We can also order eggs, dairy, and meats. The farm box pork comes from Thompson Farms and Riverview Farms, and because of its freshness and quality I've found myself cooking more pork. Availability changes from week to week, so I order a cut of meat when it's offered and keep it handy in the freezer until the occasion and recipe arise.

One recent winter day I found myself with a cool cookbook from the library and a bunch of pork chops in the freezer, so I put the two together and made Iowa Pork Chops from the Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland cookbook.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- I've included the recipe at the end of this post, just scroll down.

- Despite a fairly long list of ingredients, the recipe came together quite quickly. I used my coffee grinder/spice mill, which ground up the whole spices and garlic all at the same time.

- Even without a spice grinder, this would still be an easy recipe using pre-ground spices.

the verdict:

These pork chops were a big hit at our house. The various spices in this recipe combined to give a lovely savory flavor, and the simplicity of the recipe makes it even more of a favorite. In fact, this recipe was such a nice find that I've put the cookbook on my wish list.

the recipe:

Iowa Pork Chops

from Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland

2 bay leaves
1 T freshly ground pepper (I used peppercorns)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 T dried thyme, or 1/4 c chopped fresh
2 tsp ground cloves (I used whole)
1 T ground nutmeg (about 1 whole nutmeg, grated w microplane)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
4 thick premium loin pork chops (10 oz ea)
1 T olive oil
1 T each, butter and olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a coffee grinder, spice mill, or blender, process the bay leaves, pepper, garlic, thyume, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom until completely blended (the bay leaves might not be completely crushed).

3. Rub the chops with the olive oil, then rub the spice blend over all of the chops. Cover and set aside for about 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature.

4. Sear the chops in the butter/oil in a heavy skillet over high heat about 3 to 4 minutes per side, until they are golden brown.

5. Place the chops on a rack over a baking sheet in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the juices run clear.


Mary said...

One word. Yum. I did a CSA for a few years and reading this makes me want to jump back in when June rolls around.

Audrey said...

I have this book! (the recipes look so appealing, though I'm not sure I've ever cooked from it...story of my life.) When I worked for a company headquartered in Minneapolis I went to the author's restaurant, Lucia's, for a business dinner. I remember it as being wonderful.

Deb in Hawaii said...

The pork chops look positively delectable. I wish we had more local meat here. ;-)

Kayte said...

I'm from Iowa and I am here to tell you that there is not one defining recipe as Iowa is the land of pork chops and there are hundreds of ways we all cook now that we have that understood...this one looks and sounds like a really great way to make those Iowa chops! Must try just for the seasoning alone. I'm making the OBT smothered one tonight but Mark loves pork chops, so I will schedule this one soon, maybe next week would be good!

Tracey said...

Shane is always begging me to make pork chops so he'll thank you for posting this one :) This recipe sounds really good, maybe it'll make me a pork chop convert?

Eating in Bed said...

This looks incredible! I can't wait to try it. I also want to try the sourcream bundt cake! If you would like to share recipes at all or do a guest post on my blog that would be great! I'll let you know how it turns out when I make the chops!