A Chop (or two) in Amontillado

14bCHopsPlateNicebfLOBoo!

With all thanks to MM. Poe and Montresor (and apologies to the unfortunate M. Fortunato), I thought this would be a fine recipe to share on this crisp and cold Hallowe’en morning.

Unlike a lot of the stuff I make, this dish requires little to no advance preparation, so should you find yourself with a couple of decent pork chops and in need of dinner – soon! – this could be the recipe for you.

01aSherrybfLOIt all started, as so many tales do, with a bit of sherry, in this case, a nicely priced bottle of medium dry Amontillado from Trader Joe’s that I picked up as a kitchen wine.

02CHopsSeasonedSherrybfLOWhen I opened the bottle, I was amazed at the aroma and flavor, a lot more (to me) like a decent port, and thought it a LOT nicer  than a bottle of that cream stuff you normally see on store shelves.

A plan was hatched…

INGREDIENTS
Chops:
•2 pork chops – I like bone-in best for the flavor, but you do what you like
•2 tbsp canola oil
•8 oz fresh ‘shrooms, sliced
•1 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce
– or your hot sauce of choice
03aRicePotbfLO•1 cup Amontillado
•1/2 cup sour cream
•Salt, pepper, and garlic powder
Rice:
•1 cup rice, rinsed
•Olive Oil
•2 cups good stock

Rinse the rice and pop into your rive cooker with a bit of olive oil. Give it a stir and let it sit for about ten minutes on the ‘warm’ setting.

06ChopsReadybfLOPour in the stock, slap on the cover and push ‘cook’ – we are now ready to start the pork chops.

Season the chops on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the chops.

09bShroomsMustardbfLOCover and cook for about four minutes on the first side, then flip, replace the cover, and cook for about 3-1/2 minutes on the second – until both sides are nicely browned and a little bit crispity.

Remove the chops to a plate and keep warm.

Add the sliced ‘shrooms to the pan along with the mustard and sauté, scraping up any loose bits of pork from the bottom of the pan (don’t worry about getting them all, that’s what the sherry is for).

11ChopsAddSourCreambfLOAdd a dash of Cajun Power (or hot sauce) and sauté until any liquid has evaporated and the ‘shrooms are nicely browned and just a bit crispity at the edges.

Stir in the sherry, deglazing the pan and gathering up any remaining crispity bits of goodness stuck to the pan bottom, then the chops.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer to reduce the sauce a bit.

Reduce the heat to low and stir in the sour cream. Heat gently, you don’t want the mixture to boil again, just until warmed through, and serve.

13ChopsReadybfLONote: if you use Crème Fraîche in place of the sour cream, you don’t have to worry about the mixture coming to a boil, the crème won’t separate the way the cream will, but, your finished dish will have a sweeter taste.

We had ours over that stock-cooked rice with some nicely roasted asparagus.

Boo, indeed.

It’s one (or two) fine chop!

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