Fall is in full swing and so is the Brothers’ kitchen as we keep thinking of ways to reinvent some of our favorite comfort foods. Gussy up this stalwart of porcine cuts with some hints of Thanksgiving and a little alliteration. Maple roasted squash brings everything together with a sweet reminder that takeout is severely overrated.
Equipment Needed: 2-13 x 9 Baking Pans (or a Baking Pan and something to roast squash in; think baking sheet or roasting pan), Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Vegetable Peeler, Basting Brush, Plate, Cup or Bowl, Wax Paper, Rolling Pin (or heavy can), Meat Thermometer
Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating
Suggested Wine or Beer Pairing: Pinot Noir, Old Vine Zinfandel, Oaky Chardonnay, Heavier Ales (think Bitters, Reds, Browns or dark Belgians)
- 4 boneless center cut pork chops (about $5/lb)
- 1/2 C walnuts (about $8.99/bag)
- 1/3 C dried cranberries (about $6.99/16 oz)
- Honey, about 1/4 C ($3.99/12 oz)
- 1 large butternut squash ($)
- 3 TBSP Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup ($8.99/16 oz bottle)
- 2 TBSP butter ($2.99/lb)
- Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
- Preheat your oven to 35o° F before you start anything else. Trim and rinse the pork chops.
- Place the walnuts on a piece of wax paper and fold it over so they’re covered. Take your rolling pin or heavy rolling device and crush those nuts into tiny pieces so it becomes just slightly chunkier than breadcrumbs.
- On an extra plate, mix together the walnuts and cranberries. Drizzle honey over each side of each pork chop and press the chop onto the mixture (again, both sides) to coat evenly. We suggest honeying one side at a time so things don’t get too messy. Toss those little piggies into your baking pan and let them do their thing in the oven for about an hour, or until the internal temperature is around 160° F. You can eat pork a little on the rarer side these days thanks to modern medicine, but you still don’t want it bloody.
- Once the pig is in the oven, peel your squash and cut it in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the guts and cut the remainders into 1-1 1/2 inch chunks.
- Throw the squash into your other baking device and evenly coat the pieces in olive oil. Add a reasonable amount of salt and pepper and toss them in the oven too. Ideally you’ll do this about 10-20 minutes after the pork’s gone in; the squash will take around 45 minutes.
- While everything’s cooking, put your butter and maple syrup in your receptacle of choice and heat them in the microwave until they can be mixed with a fork. Make it easy on yourself and avoid boiling butter and splattering by heating it in 30 second intervals until ready. Once your squash has been roasting for about 30 minutes, take it out and brush the buttery maple goodness on every piece, then return them to finish cooking. Serve with mittens to get in the full fall mood.