April 1, 2011

Chipotle-maple glazed pork with roasted squash and kale

It's still maple season and we have a new gallon jug full of local maple syrup. We also have a few winter squash around that need to be used up and some pork from T-Meadow farms. I made this dish with a lot of items I had around that I needed to use up. It came together nicely. The squash and kale "salad" can be changed up to include any sort of winter squash (or even sweet potatoes). The kale could be switched out for any greens and the same with the walnuts -- pecans or almonds could also work just fine.

I loved this simple sweet and spicy glaze for the pork. The combination of the sweet maple syrup with the chipotles in adobo was really good! The kale and squash are full of healthy ingredients and colors. This recipe will serve two, but you can easily cook up extra pork and extra vegetables to feed more people. 

Chipotle-maple glazed pork with roasted squash and kale
2 pork chops
1/3 cup maple syrup
1-2 chipotles in adobo, minced, plus 1-2 teaspoons of the sauce (depends on how spicy you want it)
dash of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 medium shallot, mined
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium winter squash (butternut, buttercup), peeled and diced
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
dash of fresh grated nutmeg
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
olive oil

In a medium saucepan, combine the maple syrup, chipotles in adobo and sauce, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reduces by about half. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook your pork chops as desired (grilled, baked). I like to sear them on the stovetop and then transfer them to the oven to finish cooking. When to pork is about halfway cooked, begin to glaze them. Do this 2-3 times until they are finished cooking. Reserve some glaze in the saucepan to serve on top of the finished pork, if desired.

Toss the squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast until golden and fork-tender, turning once during cooking. When the squash is almost finished, add the nuts to the baking sheet to toast for a couple of minutes.

In a large skillet, warm about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the shallot and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the kale, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale wilts down and is tender. Add the cranberries and vinegar and stir well. Toss in the squash and nuts. If you are serving this salad alone or with a side that is not sweet, I would also add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup with the vinegar. Serve immediately with the pork.

What was I cooking one year ago?: portobello mushroom paninis

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