In This Issue
Pork chops with pineapple chutney
Pork chops with pineapple chutney
Still, millions of happy diners can't all be wrong, and the use of fruit as a flavor accent and contrast with meat, poultry or fish is a custom enshrined in culinary tradition, from sole Veronique (with grapes) to Moroccan beef and prune tagine.
The key, as it is with so many things, is balance. If the flavors of fruit drown out the meat, or if cloying sweetness dominates the dish, then I'll pass, thank you. But keep the flavors in perspective and stay on the savory side, perhaps adding a tart acidic flavor element to balance the sweetness, and the formula works.
Faced with a brace of smoked pork chops and a fresh pineapple the other day, I came up with the idea of using pineapple in a simple, savory, chutney-style sauce with no additional sweetening. Smoked pork has a ham-like flavor, and ham and pineapple are natural companions. Add a squirt of lemon juice to further control any sweetness, and you've got a nicely balanced dish in which the fruit doesn't fight the meat. It would work well, too, with a slice of ham; you could substitute an unsmoked pork chop or even a veal chop, although I think I might tweak some of the spices and other flavors if I went that route.
Here's the recipe. It's quick and simple. If you try it, or come up with a variation, I hope you'll let me know how it goes.
1/2 of a medium sweet onion, enough to make 1/2 cup (120g) chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 slice pineapple (preferably fresh)
Juice of one Meyer lemon, about 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
2 thick or 4 thin smoked pork chops
Dried red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon (3g) Madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1. Peel and chop the onion; peel the garlic and mince it fine. Cut the pineapple in small dice. Squeeze the lemon. (If you can't find Meyer lemons, try a blend of 3 parts lemon juice and 1 part orange juice.)
2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and cook them quickly; it shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to cook a thin chop, a little longer for a thin one. Remove them from the skillet and keep them warm.
3. In the same skillet, saute the onions and garlic, adding a little more olive oil (or even just a splash of water) if needed. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a small shake of dried red-pepper flakes.
4. When the onions and garlic are well browned, stir in the diced pineapple, lemon juice, curry powder and cumin. Cook just to warm through, then put the pork chops back in the skillet. Turn them once or twice, and serve.
WINE MATCH: A rich, perhaps off-dry white would be perfect: Think Riesling or Chenin Blanc, or maybe a Chardonnay with a "tropical fruit" flavor profile.
Talk About Food and Wine Online
If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article
or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online
FoodLovers Discussion Group:
Everyone is free to browse. If you'd like to post a comment, question or reply, you must register, but registration is free and easy. Do take care to register using your real name, or as a minimum, your real first name and last initial. Anonymous registrations are quietly discarded.
To contact me by E-mail, write email@example.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.
PRINT OUT TODAY'S ARTICLE
Here's a simply formatted copy of today's FoodLetter, designed to be printed out for your scrapbook or file or downloaded to your PDA or other wireless device.
Last Week's FoodLetter and Archives
The FoodLetter is usually published once a week on Thursday. Here's a link to the last edition:
Last week's Wine Advisor FoodLetter: Omelet, frittata, tortilla (April 10, 2008)
Wine Advisor FoodLetter archive:
30 Second Wine Advisor archive:
LET US HEAR FROM YOU!
If you have suggestions or comments about The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter, or if you would like to suggest a topic for a coming edition and recipe, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I really enjoy hearing from you, and I try to give a personal reply to all mail if I possibly can. And of course you're always welcome to join the conversations with fellow foodies on our online FoodLovers Discussion Group,
For information, E-mail