Monday, December 13, 2010

Pork Chops with Damiana Glaze, Carrot Bredie, & Asparagus

While staring at the empty glass that once contained my favorite margarita a thought occurred to me.  Damiana is a sweet distinctive liquor, so why not use it in a recipe other than a margarita.  So I lit the charcoal, seasoned some thick bone in pork chops, and made another margarita.

My game plan was to use some spice with zip to compliment the sweetness of the glaze I wanted to try.  The pork chops got a healthy dose of Spanish hot paprika, garlic salt, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.

Turns out it was a good plan.  The heat from the spice rubbed pork chop complemented this distinctive sweet glaze.  The dish was rounded out with grilled asparagus and my version of carrot bredie.  I recently had a very good carrot bredie at Peli Peli which puts out some wonderful South African dishes.  I took a couple of short cuts on mine, but it was excellent.

The sear and smoke from the grill put a smokey tone on the chops, but you could also use a grill pan and finish in the oven.

The line up    Print Recipe

For pork chops:
3 - 4 thick bone in pork chops (1 1/4" - 1 1/2")
1 tbs garlic salt
1 tbs hot paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin powder

For the glaze:
2 tbs butter
2 tbs brown sugar
3 - 4 oz Damiana liquor
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

For asparagus:
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 tbs olive oil
Carrot Bredie
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp lemon powder

For carrot bredie:
2 large potatoes cut in 1" chunks (I like skins on)
3 large carrots cut in 1" chunks (I like skins on)
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbs butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken stock

The Fixin Part

Blend dry ingredients for chops to make a rub.  Coat chops with rub and set aside while the fire is getting right.

Put the asparagus in a bag and toss with olive oil and seasoning.  Remove air and set aside.

In a 12" pot bring water to a boil, place potato, carrot, salt, onion and chili powder.  Boil for about 20 minutes until tender and drain.  Put butter in the pot set heat to medium.  Return carrots and potato to pot.  Mash, add stock, mix, and set aside off heat.  When chops and asparagus come off the grill, return to medium heat.  You may want to add a little stock and season to taste.

For the glaze, at medium high melt butter in a saute pan.  Stir in brown suger until dissolved.  Pour in 3 oz Damiana (you could flambe' this if you like). Stir in lime juice and simmer until a caramel color.  Remove from heat.  This will thicken up some, so before you spread on pork chops you may want to thin it a bit with another shot of Damiana.  Might as well make another margarita while you are at it.

Grill the pork chops over high heat for a couple of minutes per side.  Move off direct fire, brush on glaze, add pecan wood chunks to coal, shut lid and let smoke for 15 - 20 minutes.  You can do this with a grill pan and finish in a 350 degree oven instead of the sear and smoke method.  The smoke does add an edge that I like however.

When chops are done, grill asparagus for 5 - 8 minutes until slightly charred.


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