The Edmond Sun

Food

February 3, 2014

Simple weeknight suppers with pears

EDMOND — Family Features

“Hectic family schedules don’t have to get in the way of serving up tasty and healthy weeknight dinners,” explains leading nutrition expert, cookbook author and television star Ellie Krieger, author of “Weeknight Wonders: Delicious, Healthy Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less.”

Krieger notes that pairing the unique sweetness of healthy, fresh pears with savory proteins like pork or chicken makes for a satisfying supper that can be made in a snap. “Pears are a perfect pick for weeknight dinners,” Krieger said. “Their distinctive flavor goes well in savory main dishes that are simple to make and will be enjoyed by the whole family.”

Krieger’s recipe for Pork Chops with Pears in Port Wine Sauce from her new “Weeknight Wonders” cookbook will help add variety to the weeknight dinner routine, as will these other suppertime recipes that feature juicy USA Pears.

For more recipe ideas, visit www.usapears.org.

Check the Neck for Ripeness

Pears are best enjoyed at the peak of ripeness. The best way to judge whether a fresh pear is ripe, sweet and juicy is to “check the neck:”

• Press the neck, or stem end, of the pear with your thumb, and if it yields to gentle pressure it is ripe and ready to eat.

• To ripen your pears at home, keep them at room temperature. Display these beautiful fruits in a decorative bowl as you wait for them to ripen.

• To slow ripening, simply put the pears in the refrigerator.

Pork Chops with Pears in Port Wine Sauce

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

3  large firm-ripe USA Pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou

Cooking spray

4  1/2-pound center-cut bone-in pork loin chops (about 3/4 inch thick)

1/4  teaspoon salt

1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4  cup low-sodium chicken broth

3/4  cup tawny port wine

1  tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions:

Peel and core the pears, then slice them into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat over medium-high heat. Add the pears and cook, stirring once or twice, until warmed and slightly softened but they still retain their shape, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pears to a plate.

Season the pork chops with the salt and pepper. Spray the skillet with cooking spray again, then add the pork chops and cook until just slightly blush in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a second plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the broth and port to the skillet, raise the heat to high, and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the mustard and whisk until dissolved, then return the pears to the pan and stir to combine.

Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve.

Recipe adapted and reprinted with permission from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, from Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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