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For this dish I marinate lean and versatile boneless top loin pork chops (also known as “America’s Cut”) in five-spice and finish it in a tangy and smooth maple glaze. This dish pairs well with my Asian Pear and Cucumber Slaw. The Asian pear, native to China, Japan and Korea, has a sweet flavor with a crisp texture, marries well with a variety of flavors and is a quick no-cook side dish option. A plastic V-slicer or mandoline will make quick work of cutting the Asian pears and cucumber into matchsticks. Recipe courtesy of Grand Champion of the popular cooking competition, “Chopped” and recent winner of “Iron Chef America” — Chef Madison Cowan on behalf of the National Pork Board
- Marinating Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes.
- To prepare the pork chops: Brush pork chops with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the five-spice powder evenly over pork chops. Place on a plate and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before searing.
- To prepare the glaze: Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add maple syrup and vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F Add a little cooking oil to pan and heat over medium–high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, sear the pork chops until brown, about 3 to 5 minutes each side. Place the pan in the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center of a chop reads 145ºF, about 10 to 12 minutes. During the last 3 minutes, reheat the maple sauce and brush both sides of the chops until well glazed. Remove from pan from the oven and let stand for 3 minutes.