Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Strawberry Daiquiri Pork Chops

hulling strawberries for pork chop recipe
Because of Celia's allergies (among other things, she has eosinophilic esophagitis), she can only tolerate three basic foods - pork, strawberries, and cane sugar. Sometimes it can be a real challenge to come up with a recipe that doesn't seem like "oh, that again..." for dinner. We arrange for a whole pig from a local butcher who "gets" the need for one-critter-at-a-time processing, so we know that the meat hasn't been contaminated with anything else, so we always have a variety of presentations.  The butcher even will make unseasoned sausage-ground meat for her (instead of putting it in casings, he leaves it loose so we can make sausage patties).    Pork is also the only meat Damien can tolerate (he can have strawberries, too, as well as apples, bananas, and potatoes), so often I'll make extra so there is some to put in the fridge for them to reheat on nights when the rest of us have something different.  Usually when I make pork chops, I just bake them in the oven, and leave them plain.  For sanity's sake, I cook to "least common denominator," so cooking them unseasoned and putting salt, pepper, and garlic powder on the table means all of the ones on the baking sheet are safe and I don't have to worry about giving Celia or Damien the wrong dinner.  Sometimes I'll pan-fry them in a little bacon grease (we make bacon three pounds at a time, twice a week, so there's always some leftover in the fridge), but that's as exciting as it gets.

 In the midst of this crazy cold weather, I've seen some frozen drinks in my Pinterest feed -- people pretending that if they stick an umbrella in their beverage, it's mind over matter.  That led me to think about trying to make a strawberry sauce for pork chops.  Though pork and fruit seem to go together naturally (who hasn't imitated Peter Brady with "We're having pork chops...and applesauce..."), strawberries aren't a common pairing.  And what says "Caribbean vacation" better than a strawberry daiquiri? I thought it was worth a try...and it was delicious.  The strawberries were fruity and sweet; adding the rum (safe for us because it's distilled from cane sugar) added a brightness to the fruit.  We used home canned strawberries but you could use frozen strawberries cooked in a sugar syrup, or even some thinned down strawberry jam.

Strawberry Daiquiri Pork Chops recipe

Note: The recipe can be easily halved if you are serving less people.

Strawberry Daquiri Pork Chops

makes 12 servings

12 bone-in pork chops
3 Tbsp raw or granulated sugar
1 pint canned strawberries in syrup
3 Tbsp rum
pinch kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325.  Lay chops on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with sugar on one side.

Bake until chops reach an internal temperature of 140°F.  How long this takes will depend on how thick your chops are.  The chops can also be pan-fried or grilled.

In a saucepan, bring berries, syrup, and rum to a boil.  Boil 2-3 minutes or until the syrup thickens. Remove from heat.

If you're making the syrup from frozen berries, place 1 c. frozen berries, 1 c. water, and 1 c. sugar in a saucepan.  Cook on low until berries are defrosted and sugar has dissolved, then add rum, and bring to a boil until thickened.  If you're using jam, mix together 1 1/2 c. jam, 1/2 c water, and rum.

When the meat has reached 140°F, turn the pork chops over and glaze with the liquid from strawberry sauce.

Return to oven (or grill, if pan-fried, leave uncovered) and finish cooking until they reach an internal temperature of 155°.  Remove from oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest for five minutes. ("Fully cooked" temperature is 160°F, but they'll make it the rest of the way while they rest. Pork is very easy to overcook, so it's better to pull it a few degrees short and let residual heat coast it to done.)

Mash any whole berries to help thicken remaining glaze. Stir to combine.

strawberry daiquiri pork chops recipe

Spoon fruit sauce over meat when serving.  Paper umbrella optional.

Dining with friends

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  1. Well, that looks yummy and simple! I didn't realize just how limited Celia's food options are. Wow. Kudos to you for coming up with creative ways to serve the same few things!

  2. This looks absolutely delicious! And yes, I also am impressed with your creativity. I can't imagine what it must be like to have such limited food options. Thanks for sharing on Throwback Thursday Blog Style. This post was randomly selected as this week's featured post. (Sorry I am late stopping by, we were stuck in a motel last night because of the weather)
    I hope you still find time to stop by this week!


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