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Syrup can be used for dips, and sauces both warm or cold

POSTED: January 18, 2012 1:30 a.m.
/MCT Information Services

Maple syrup, brown sugar and mustard blend with the pan juices to make a succulent sauce for the sauteed Vermont pork chops. Serve with potatoes and Brussel sprouts.

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Maple syrup season technically begins with the arrival of spring in March. But in Vermont, where much of the syrup is produced, there’s still snow around the trees being tapped for collection during that time of year.

With its icy roots, yet warm undertones, maple syrup can be just the thing to add extra flavor to dinnertime during the winter months.

In this recipe for Vermont Pork Chops, maple syrup, brown sugar and mustard blend with pan juices to make a succulent sauce for the sauteed medallions.

The sauce is great with other pork cuts like ham and equally tasty on turkey or chicken. Warm it on its own and serve with any of these cooked meats or use it as a dipping sauce.

It can be served hot or at room temperature. To create this dish, you can use any type of pork chop. However, this recipe features boneless, butterflied pork chops, which have less fat and cook faster than bone-in chops.

This variety needs to be watched carefully, or they will dry out while cooking. The secret is to sear them outside and then lower the heat and cook just a few minutes more.

Pork is ready when a meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees. The co-stars of this simple — yet satisfying — meal are Sauteed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts, which are cooked in chicken broth and then tossed with olive oil and seasoned to taste with salt and pepper.

Although the recipe calls for yellow potatoes, they can be substituted for red or fingerling varieties. And if Brussels sprouts aren’t a family favorite, they can be swapped for broccoli.

Since it takes about 6 minutes to cook the pork chops through, start your side dish first since the potatoes and sprouts take longer to cook.

Setting your sights on your side dish first, will help ensure that everything is done around the same time, which means no worrying about how to keep things warm or prevent overcooking during the wait.

Depending on how handy you are with a knife to trim the sprouts and cut the potatoes into the requisite, 1-inch pieces, you could be looking at a 30-minute meal that would make even Rachel Ray jealous.

To chop even more minutes off your preparation time, pick up a pack of boneless pork chops that have already been butterflied. If you don’t see any available, take your pick of boneless chops and ask the butcher staff in your grocery store’s meat department to butterfly them for you.

MCT Information Services contributed to this article.


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