It turns out keeping up with a blog is no easy task, especially during the holiday season. My original goal was to update the site about twice a week, and I was doing an OK job up until Thanksgiving, but since then I haven't had a chance to add anything. But, Thanksgiving is over, the house is decorated for Christmas and Hanukkah (We are an interfaith household), my holiday shopping is mostly done and work has slowed down to a manageable pace. Time to get back to writing & cooking!
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We had a fantastic 4 days. Spent Turkey day with our family and spent the day after Thanksgiving with our good friends, creating what I hope is a new, long standing tradition- the Leftover Feast. We all packed up the leftovers from our respective Thanksgiving dinners, carted them over to our friend Julie's house and heated everything up for a repeat of the big meal- this time with the family that gets made from your group of close friends. It was an awesome night, lots of laughs & wine, a few games of some friendly poker and delicious food. Plus, it was a great way to use up a good portion of the Thanksgiving leftovers. I ended up with just enough leftover turkey to make nachos one night for a quick dinner. The weekend after Thanksgiving we headed down to Paso Robles to see some more friends and explore the wine country down there. It was 4 days of good friends, good food & good wine. It doesn't get much better than that.
This was our first visit to the Paso Robles wine country and we didn't know quite what to expect. Turns out they make some absolutely delicious wine down there. Mostly all reds, and mostly of the Rhone varietals. No big California Cabernets, not a Pinot Noir to be found, but some of the best Syrahs and GSM's (Grenache, Syrah & Mourvédre) we have had in a while. We ended up picking up quite a few bottles to add to our collection.
Tonight seemed like a good night to open one of those new bottles, so I needed to make something that would go well with a Syrah, and was quick to make. I had some thin cut pork chops in the fridge and some cherry tomatoes, add in some broccoli for a veggie side and dinner was set. I've been making this pork dish for quite a while and it's always a favorite, plus, it's pretty cheap to make & takes literally no time to make. You just throw the pork chops on the grill and while they are cooking you sauté some shallots & cherry tomatoes until the tomatoes burst & release their juices. Then add a dash of balsamic vinegar to the tomatoes and onions and you've got a delicious topping for the pork chops. You can use whatever type of Pork Chop you like- bone in, boneless, thin cut or thick cut it really doesn't matter. The tomatoes work well with any variety of chop.
Grilled Pork Chops with Burst Tomatoes
2 to 4 Pork Chops
Salt & Pepper
1 pint size container small sweet tomatoes, washed clean but left whole
1 large shallot, halved & then sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- Prepare and Grill the Pork Chops. Season the pork chops on both sides with Salt & Pepper and brush with a little olive oil. Heat your grill, or grill pan, up to medium high and grill the chops until cooked through. We like ours medium, about 6 minutes a side.
- Sauté the Onions & Tomatoes. While the pork chops are on the grill, cook the shallots in a little bit of olive oil, in a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat, until just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in the tomatoes, season with salt & pepper and cook over medium high heat until the tomatoes start to burst. Add in the balsamic vinegar and stir for a minute or so then remove from heat.
- Serve! Place a grilled pork chop on a plate and put a couple spoonfuls of the tomato & shallot mixture over the chop. Tonight I served some roasted broccoli on the side. And the wine? We opened a 2006 Linne Calodo Sandbagger, it was delicious!