Something very exciting happened yesterday: I picked and ate the first Sungold tomato of the year from the garden. Some other exciting things have been going on over here, too:
2. I’m biking 42 miles this week. And now that Dan’s baseball season is over, I won’t be riding by myself! I have a feeling I’m going to be grateful for the in-ride encouragement and company as my long rides start spanning 4+ hours.
3. I am on Week 3 of Sophie Lizard’s Freelance Blogger’s Client Hunting Masterclass. It is really kicking my butt into gear as far as getting my portfolio site up and running!
4. I took some time for a much-needed creative planning session last Friday, and feel so much better about the direction my blogging and freelance work are moving in now.
5. Um, hi, 12.5 pounds of blueberries. Between the blueberries and pickle-making I have going on, there is approximately zero empty space in our refrigerator. Luckily, I’m moving the berries through the freezing process at a fairly fast clip, and I’m finding new, creative ways to use them, too. Like in a blueberry balsamic glaze for pork. It is totally worth turning on the stove for.
Reducing blueberry puree and balsamic vinegar together creates a sweet-tart glaze that is perfect for pork chops. Serve these pork chops with grilled vegetables (I'm a fan of grilled squash and green beans), potatoes and/or garlic bread.
- 4 pork chops, 10-12 ounces each
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place the pork chops in a 9x13" baking pan.
- Whisk the salt and sugar into the water to form a brine, and pour it over the pork chops. Leave the pork chops to brine at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Leaving it at room temperature will help take the chill off the meat so that it cooks through evenly. Turn the pork chops over every 10-15 minutes to make sure the brine covers all of the pork chops.
- Meanwhile, make the blueberry balsamic glaze. Puree the blueberries in a food processor or blender. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a small saucepan, and pour the berry puree into the sieve. Stir well with a wooden spoon, pressing the juice through the sieve and scraping the skins away from the holes. When you have most of the juice out, add the vinegar to the saucepan and discard the blueberry skins. I don't recommend skipping this step unless you absolutely can't find a sieve; filtering the blueberry puree like this makes the final glaze nice and smooth.
- Bring the blueberry-balsamic mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup total, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Set aside to cool a bit.
- Heat your grill to medium-high heat and grease the grates. Pat the pork chops dry, and then brush them with oil and sprinkle with black pepper on both sides.
- Grill the pork chops for 5-6 minutes per side, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a chop reads 145F. Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before brushing it liberally with the glaze and serving.
Make Ahead and Storage
Cover and refrigerate any extra glaze. The leftovers would be great on grilled chicken or another cut of pork! Use within 3-4 days.