Recipe: Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Red Grapes and Poblano Cheese Grits

Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Red Grapes and Poblano Cheese Grits

By chefaaronsanchez.com - - Jan 2, 2018

I love working with fresh ingredients, and to me California Grapes are some of the best out there. I like the balance that these roasted red grapes give to something hearty like pork chops and grits. This dish is comforting, well rounded, and perfect for family get togethers. For more information visit Grapes from California.

Servings: 4
Cook Time: 45M

Ingredients

Ancho Chile Butter
  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter , room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon picked thyme leaves
Roasted Items
  • 1 pound red grapes in small bunches
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 poblano peppers
Grits
  • 1 cup stone ground grits
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • Roasted poblanos
Pork Chops
  • 4 1-pound, bone in pork chops , approximately ¾ inch thick
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 475° F.
2. Using a small knife, slice the ancho chiles in half lengthwise and remove stem and seeds. Place the chiles in a medium bowl and fully cover with hot water. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chiles are soft.
Using a fork or tongs, remove the chiles from water and add to a food processor, along with butter and thyme leaves. Blend on high until well combined. Remove the ancho chile butter mixture from food processor and set aside in a small bowl.
3. Turn one of your stove’s burners to medium high. Place the poblano peppers directly on the burner and
roast, turning occasionally using tongs, until they are charred all over and soft, but not mushy, approximately 7 minutes. Note: if you don’t have a gas stove, put your peppers on a baking sheet and
cook them under the broiler until they char, turning several times, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the roasted poblano peppers to a mixing bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let steam for 10 minutes,
then remove from bowl. Peel the charred skin from the peppers, then slice lengthwise and remove seeds, then finely chop.
4. Cook the grits according to package instructions. Once cooked, keep warm and stir every so often.
5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread grape bunches evenly on the baking sheet and drizzle with
balsamic vinegar. Using your hands, lightly toss so all bunches are evenly coated. Roast for approximately
12 to 15 minutes, until the grapes are browned but still plump (note: you should not see a lot of liquid on
the baking sheet). Remove from oven and set aside.
6. Rub both sides of each pork chop with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
7. Heat a grill or cast iron pan to medium heat. Using tongs, carefully place each pork chop in the pan,
working in batches if necessary. Sear the pork until golden brown on one side, approximately 6 to 8 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Using an instant read meat thermometer,
check the center of each pork chop to check temperature. When the thermometer reads 140° F, remove pork chops from grill/pan and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
8. While pork is resting, finish your grits. Over low-medium heat, slowly add the half and half, cheese and chopped roasted peppers to the grits, stirring constantly to avoid clumping, until the cheese is melted, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
9. Serve the pork chops with a dollop of ancho chile butter on top, and poblano-cheese grits on the side, topped with a bunch (or more) of the roasted red grapes.