Saturday, January 08, 2005

Pork Chops with Pear and Ginger Sauce

Four 4 oz. boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tsp. canola oil
3 Tb. cider vingar
2 Tb. sugar
2/3 c. dry white wine
1 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
1 firm, ripe pear (Bocs or Anjou) peeled, cored and cut
lengthwise into eighths
One 1 1/2 inch long piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut
into julienne strips
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch lengths
2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp. water

Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet
over medium high heat.
Add pork and cook until browned and just cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side.
Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Add vinegar and sugar to the pan; stir to dissolve the sugar.
Cook over medium-high heat until the syrup turns dark amber, 10-20 seconds.
Pour in wine. Stand back as the caramel may sputter.
Bring to a simmer, stirring.
Add broth, pears and ginger; bring to a simmer.
Cook, uncovered, turning the pears occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add scallions and cook until pears are tender, about 2 minutes longer.
Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened.
Reduce heat to low and return the pork and accumulated juices to the pan;
turn to coat with the sauce. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.

Laci's Lavender Cookies

In Memory of Laci and Connor. May you rest in peace.

5/8 c. butter
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 Tb. lavender flowers
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour

Optional for decorating:
1/2 c. colored sugar
1 Tb. lavender flowers

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar.
Beat egg and blend into the butter and sugar.
Mix in lavender flowers and flour.
Drop by teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove cookies to cooling rack.
Sprinkle with colored sugar and lavender flowers, if desired.