Weeknight Dinner Extravaganza

porkchops.jpgI know what you're thinking.  Weeknight dinner and  the culinary term reduction are two words that do not go together.  But I double-dare swear that they do.  This recipe is so perfect for any night that is filled with reckless activities caused by our busy and crazy lives.  This recipe will take you back to the simple life you crave.

You cannot get this from a box, you cannot get this from an ox.  You cannot find this here or there, but you can make this in your underwear...or something like that.

I mean are you tired of your pathetic nightly dinners?  Does your family dread the dreaded chicken recipe again?  Have you been wanting your inner-chef-dom-tendencies to shine through without much effort?  This is your lucky day.

This simplistic, tasty, somewhat-savory, somewhat-sweet dinner is for you.  It is by far the most effortless (well, I guess McDonald's would be more effortless) weeknight meal you could possibly throw together.  And it's so good, you could even serve it for Sunday night dinner.  After making this, no one will believe you've running around like a maniac all day.

porkchopsfinal.jpgI've always hated pork chops.  They are always dry, tough and just blah.  However, the quick cooking time coupled with this sauce keeps this dish moist and delicious.  No one will believe you made this sauce from scratch.  NO ONE!

You say, "I can't".  I have three kids at baseball practice at three different fields.  No problem.  One kid at gymnastics and another at the tutor.  No worries.  Two kids at the library, one science project to help with, four kids at judo and a blog to write.  I've got your back.



Boneless Pork Chops in a Shallot-Fig Reduction Sauce

1-1/2 to 2 lbs. Boneless Pork Loin Thin Sliced Chops
2 cups of beef broth or beef stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 large shallot, chopped
9 dried figs, diced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
salt & pepper for seasoning

Preheat a nonstick skillet.  Add olive oil and fry pork chops in batches, 2 minutes per side and remove from pan; keep warm.  Add shallot to the pan and cook until softened, 3 minutes.  Add beef broth, balsamic vinegar and figs.  Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by half, about 7 minutes.  Add cornstarch, cook 1 minute. 

Add chops back to the pan and cover.  Simmer 2-3 minutes or until meat is cooked through.  Remove the chops from the pan and pour sauce all over.  Serve immediately.


Cathy is currently in the development stages of her vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She currently resides in Northern California with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at noblepig.com.