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Pork Chops with Brandied Cherry Sauce and Zucchini with Walnuts

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 27 min
  • Prep: 12 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

1 (15-ounce) can whole black pitted cherries in natural juices, drained

2 rounded spoonfuls sugar -- for fresh cherries only

4 large boneless center-cut pork chops, 1 1/2 inches thick

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

1 large shallot, finely chopped

Splash of brandy

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Zucchini with Walnuts:

1/2 cup, chopped walnuts -- available in small pouches on baking aisle

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

3 medium zucchinis, sliced into disks, 1/-inch thick

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated or ground

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Put cherries in a small bowl with the sugar.
  3. Heat a skillet with an oven safe handle over medium high to high heat or, cover a the handle of a rubber handled pan with tin foil and preheat over same setting.
  4. Season chops with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, to a hot skillet. Place chops in skillet and sear meat on both sides to caramelize the chops. Place a loose tin foil tent over the pan and transfer the chops to oven to finish off, 7 or 8 minutes, until meat is firm to touch, but not tough.
  5. While chops are in oven, place a second skillet over medium high heat. Toast nuts 1 to 2 minutes, shaking pan frequently. Remove nuts to cool and add extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, and 1 tablespoon butter. Add zucchini disks, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook until tender, tossing discs occasionally, 6 or 7 minutes.
  6. Remove meat from oven and transfer to dinner plates. Cover chops with foil to keep warm. Place chop skillet back on stove over medium heat. Add a tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan. Add shallots and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add cherries and warm through. Add brandy by removing the pan off the burner to add the alcohol, then flame the pan. Burn off alcohol for 1 minute, then add stock. reduce stock a minute, then add butter in small pieces. Toss sauce to combine and sprinkle in mint. Pour sauce down over chops and serve the zucchini with walnuts along side.