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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spiced Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes

Part two of the I Heart Gordon Ramsay series.

I'm a little bit of a BBQ sauce junkie, and I never eat a pork chop without it. These, however, didn't need anything else. The sweet potato mash was the perfect complement to the pork chop.

And as an aside on prep: if you don't have a mortar and pestle? Get one (I found one for like $13 at Bed Bath and Beyond). Because for some reason, crushing whole spices is crazy fun, and it smells amazing. Words cannot describe.

Spiced Pork Chops with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
(Serves 2)

Pork Chops:

-2 boneless pork chops

-1 tsp coriander seeds

-1 star anise

-1/2 tsp chili powder

-1/2 tsp paprika

-1 clove garlic, crushed

-A few sprigs of fresh thyme

-A few grinds each of sea salt and pepper

-1 generous tbsp olive oil

Sweet Potatoes

-1 large sweet potato

-2-3 cups chicken broth

-1 shallot, finely chopped

-1 clove garlic, crushed

-Coconut oil

-Salt to taste

-1-2 tsp fresh sage

-1-2 tsp fresh cilantro

Crush the coriander and star anise, and add to a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well. Pour marinade onto a plate, and add pork chops. Flip once to get the marinade covering all surfaces. Put into the fridge.

Peel and dice sweet potato. Put chicken broth into a pot over high heat. When broth is boiling, add sweet potato, and boil around 8 minutes, until they are softening (they shouldn't be fully cooked yet). Remove from heat, drain, run under cold water, and drain again. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Remove pork chops from the fridge. Place a pan over medium/medium-high heat, and get it nice and hot. Add a little bit of oil to the pan, and then add pork chops. Cook on each side for about 45 secs - 1 min, and occasionally tip onto the edges to ensure that you get color on all sides. Then, put the pan into the oven, and bake for about 8 minutes, until meat is just firm when pressed lightly. Set aside to rest.

In a second pan, heat oil over medium heat, and add shallots and garlic. Saute until shallots begin to caramelize. Add sweet potatoes, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Then, with a fork (or if you're fancy and own a potato masher, use that--I do not), begin mashing the sweet potatoes in the pan. When thoroughly mashed and soft, remove from heat, add the sage and cilantro, and a bit of sea salt to taste, and mix thoroughly.

Plate it up and serve it up. These won't disappoint.


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