Staff Member: Lauren Seiple
I am currently obsessed with sage. It's soft, fragrant, has an ancient culinary and medicinal history..but mostly it just makes me happy because it still looks great in my garden while everything else has fallen away. I think that winter is the perfect time to cook with sage, since it goes well with hearty winter foods like squash, pasta, stuffing, and meat.
This recipe features sage in the cream sauce, but also includes some of my other favorite things: farm fresh pork and cooking in my cast iron skillet. Unfortunately I haven't reached a point in my cooking experience where I can put my own name to a recipe, so I have to give credit to Alexis Touchet at Gourmet.com for coming up with the original idea.
Sauteed Pork Chop with Sage Cream Sauce
2 (1-inch-thick) rib pork chops
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
I don't cook meat very often and their aren't many ingredients in this recipe, so when I make this I don't substitute anything. I say: go with heavy cream & fresh herbs or go home. Also, I've found that the recipe works just as well with 2 chops as with one. As long as they are not too big, there is plenty of sauce to share.
Pat your pork chops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in an 8- to 10-inch cast iron skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chops, turning over once, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer with tongs to a plate.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon fat from skillet and reduce heat to moderate, then cook shallot, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add vinegar and boil until liquid is evaporated, about 3 seconds.
Return chops to skillet along with any juices accumulated on plate, then add water, cream, and sage and simmer, covered, without turning, 5 to 6 minutes. (If you have a meat thermometer, it should register at 150°F when inserted horizontally into center of chop)
Transfer chops to a clean plate, then simmer sauce, uncovered, stirring, until liquid is reduced to about 4 tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chop.
To complete the meal, I use the leftover heavy cream when making horseradish mashed potatoes. I also like to include a green vegetable; usually roasted Brussels sprouts, steamed broccoli, or sauteed spinach. It doesn't take long to cook the pork, so get these side dished going first. Enjoy!