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September 30, 2010

Boneless Pork Loin Chops with Curry Butternut Squash Puree

It's Autumn! This is absolutely my favorite time of year, and not just because my birthday falls near the beginning of the season (we will not speak of that.)  I love the cooler night air, the leaves turning gold and red and, of course, the harvest of beautiful earthy vegetables. 

Unfortunately, it's been more than a bit dreary on the east coast the last few days.  I am staring out the window now at the at the billions of rain drops plummeting to the earth as if they had a personal vendetta for Montgomery county.  Rain jerks.  Even my dogs feel the general malaise, slumbering  all day long with occasional sighs and grunts of boredom and cabin fever.  What better on a day like this than comfort food?

Here is a recipe I whipped up that might take the dampness out of your bones and brighten your spirits. 

Ingredients (serves 2):
2 boneless pork loin chops, thick cut
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1 butternut squash
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup chicken stock (warmed)
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Skin the butternut squash and slice into 1 inch cubes.  Coat them in a bowl with the olive oil then mix with Kosher salt and curry.  Spread out on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until tender.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet on medium high heat.  Season the pork on both sides with Kosher salt and pepper.  Place in the pan and cook for about 6-8 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the chops. (Pork is not something you want to under or over-cook. There is very little chance your cut will be exactly the same as what I bought so I recommend using a meat thermometer. The pork will be done when the center reaches 155 degrees.)  Remove the pork and rest on a cutting board while you prepare the squash.

In a large bowl or mixer, puree the squash with the chicken stock and butter until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary (always taste your food before serving!)

*NOTE: In the picture, I served with red-wine braised shiitake mushrooms. I didn't include them here because I didn't think they added to the dish.  My husband disagrees. I'll leave it up to you...

2 cups shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp. butter
1/8 cup dry red wine
Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet on medium heat, saute the mushrooms in butter until soft. Add red wine and reduce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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