Maple-Glazed Pork Loin Chops and Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Pear and Walnut Salad
Create a jazzed up blue plate special with this flavorful complete meal that works equally well for a crowd-pleasing family dinner or entertaining with friends.
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- Olive or vegetable oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
- 4 boneless pork loin chops (8 ounces each)
- Black pepper
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped or 2-3 scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped
- 1 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 2 tablespoons Tamari (dark soy sauce) or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup
- 1 ripe brown pear, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 small bundle watercress, leaves trimmed
- 1 endive, sliced
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
- 1/2-3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
- Boil the sweet potatoes for 6-7 minutes in salted water. Cool to handle while you pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
- Cut the potatoes into wedges, drizzle lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes to crisp and brown.
- 20 minutes before the fries come out of the oven, heat a skillet with about 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook for 6-7 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.
- Add a little more oil to the skillet and reduce the heat a little. Add the garlic, chopped shallots or scallions and ginger. Stir for 2 minutes, then add the Tamari and maple syrup. Reduce to thicken for a couple of minutes more; return the chops to the skillet and cover with glaze.
- Combine the pears with the watercress, endive and walnuts and dress lightly with lemon juice, EVOO, salt and pepper. Mix in the cheese. Serve the salad alongside the chops and potato wedges.