Make It For Your Date – Maple Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

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Pork Chops with Maple Mustard Glaze via Cooking Light

We all know the saying “The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. This can also be a fairly speedy route to the female heart as well. Staying in and making your date dinner (or making it together) rates high on the romance scale. You get to show off your creativity and appreciation for nuance and details, even if it’s a simple dish. It’s no different from putting an outfit together. That’s what this series is all about. She or he will be left impressed, and you won’t need the skills of Wolfgang Puck.  

  • Familiar Ingredients:  There’s no odd ones in this recipe.
  • Number of Pans/Pots you’ll need to make this dish:  One.  A large cast iron or non-stick skillet. You’ll also need a plate for the chops to rest on, and some foil to cover them.

We’re traveling back in the archives and bringing you this recipe from the May 2006 issue of Cooking Light, which happens to be in the same publication family of Sunset magazine so the recipe can once again be found at myrecipes.com. We’ve been making these chops for a few years now in my household, and they’re always a favorite. In fact, we just made these for a group of friends this past weekend to rave reviews. The flavors in this dish have some elements associated with fall (maple, sage, thyme), but the mustard keeps the flavor bright, thus allowing it to pair with green salad and lighter wine very easily. Plus, you cook this stove top, so no heating up an oven and potentially heating up your place.

Spinach salad and pork chop

Click the picture for the recipe

Pork Chops - Go for good chops from a butcher, whether from a meat shop or the case at your local grocer. The recipe calls for boneless chops, but if you prefer bone in, they’ll work as well. The nice thing about boneless is there’s less waste left for you to clean up, and they’re just easier to eat in general. That might be the better option if you’re preparing this meal for a date that you don’t know that well yet. And before you prepare this meal for a date, make sure they eat pork!

Herbs – Definitely use fresh herbs for this dish. The flavor of dried sage and thyme just wouldn’t be the same, plus you can use the herbs to create a garnish for each plate if you like. Yep, show your date your mad presentation skills.

Maple Syrup – Use the real stuff. No Eggo, no Mrs. Butterworth’s. Real maple syrup is pricey, but it will last a LONG time in your fridge, so you can purchase a smaller bottle and use it again… I bet to make these chops.

Heavy Cream – This dish will be best with actual heavy cream. Don’t cut corners with a fat free substitute. There’s only 2 teaspoons in the recipe, so you’re not making too big of a calorie dent.

You can pair this dish with a really simple spinach salad. Just toss spinach, sliced strawberries, red onion, feta, and some chopped raw walnuts with a vinaigrette (try balsamic, pomegranate, or a berry vinaigrette). For carbs, roasted or mashed potatoes are spot on, and the sauce from the chop pan tastes great with potatoes.  Try pairing it with a good Chardonnay (key word there is good), like Estancia.

Sarah is a self proclaimed foodie and regular contributor to fullclutch.com. Her Husband, who made this dish, thinks these chops taste like breakfast sausages. So they got that goin’ for them. For more MIFYD posts, click here.