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Author Notes: This is an amazing combination of tart, savory, bitter, and buttery. I recommend cooking the chop to a lower temperature, such as 135º F and letting it rest for 10 minutes to rise up to a 145º internal temperature so you end up with perfectly tender, juicy pork.
Note: You can replace the apricots with a wide variety of fruits that are currently in season – apples, pears, nectarines, peaches, etc. You could also try cherries and I bet that'd be absolutely divine. The images show the recipe made with apricots and with pears. (I made it two nights in a row because this is a seriously good recipe) —Kylie Thompson
Sweet and Salty Pears
- 4 ripe apricots
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons pear sauce (or apple sauce)
- flaky sea salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Pork and Buttery Rice & Kale
- 2 thick boneless pork chops
- 1 cup long grain rice (dry)
- 1 bunch Lacinato kale, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Make the rice according to the package instructions. Keep warm.
- Make the apricots: While the rice is cooking, heat olive oil in skillet. Remove the pits & dice the apricots and add to the skillet & cook briefly until browned on the bottoms. Add sugar, water, and pear (or apple) sauce. Cook until the sauce is reduced and thick (about 10-15 minutes over low to medium heat). Stir frequently to prevent burning. Season with a generous amount of sea salt. Set aside and keep warm. Clean out the pan.
- Make the Pork: Heat two more tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Pat the pork dry and season with salt and pepper. Add the pork and cook until browned and crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Flip the pork and its sides and sear the sides until also browned and crispy. Continue cooking until a meat thermometer reaches 135º. It takes about 7 minutes per side total depending on how high your heat is and how thick your pork chop is. If you're using very, very thick chops, you may need to pop them in the oven to bring up to the correct temperature. Remove from skillet and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes and then slice the pork on an angle.
- Make the Buttery Kale: Drain the fat from the skillet and add two tablespoons of butter. Heat the butter over medium high until frothy and browning. Add the chopped kale and cook until just wilted. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the cooked rice. The rice will absorb any excess butter in the skillet and take on a gorgeous glossy look.
- Serve: Divide rice and kale between plates. Top with a few spoonfuls of the apricots and arrange the sliced pork on top of the apriciots. Enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Savory Stone Fruit