Salmon Creek Farm Pork Chop Feta And Figs
4 10-ounce pork chops
2 cups water
2 cups apple juice
2 star anise
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup salt
1 cup pineapple juice
2 sprigs of thyme
1 pinch of dried sage
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
3 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon grain mustard
8 ounces baby spinach
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 ounces chorizo sausage, diced
2 ounces toasted almonds, chopped
8 fresh figs, halved
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus another 3 tablespoons for cooking)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Chef’s note: Whenever I cook pork chops, I always set aside a little extra time to marinate the chops in a brine solution. Brining pork offers the opportunity to impart some extra flavor deep into the meat and helps to prevent it from drying out during the cooking process. It does require a little extra planning–but it is time well spent.
- Mix all of the brine ingredients together in a nonreactive pot.
- Stir the mix until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
- Once the brine is ready, add the pork chops.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Cook The Chops
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry.
- Sprinkle the chops with pepper (no salt needed)
- Heat a touch of oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat.
- Add pork chops and sautÃ© for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Place the chops in the oven for around 8 minutes.
- Remove the chops from the oven and brush them with the glaze.
- Place them back in the oven for a further 4 minutes (until an instant-read thermometer inserted into chops registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit).
Finish The Salad
Mix together the sherry vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard. (To do this at home, I suggest pouring all three ingredients into a small, emptied, clean plastic water bottle, placing the lid back on and shaking it like crazy.)
Heat a skillet, then add a touch of olive oil and the diced chorizo sausage, and sautÃ© for a few minutes.
Add the vinaigrette and remove skillet from the stove.
Place the spinach in a bowl, add the chorizo vinaigrette mix and toss.
Arrange the salad on four plates, add the pork chops, and finish with the toasted almonds, fresh figs and feta cheese.