Vermouth Pork Chops with Blue Cheese and Butternut Squash Puree
For this recipe always use the best-quality corn-fed pork available, counseled Alan Hooker, founder of the Ranch House Restaurant in Ojai Valley, California.
FOR THE PURÉE:
1 2-lb. butternut squash, peeled,
seeded, and cubed
1 2" piece fresh ginger, quartered
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. Herb Salt
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. sliced almonds
FOR THE SAUCE:
1 cup dry vermouth
1 3⁄4 cups heavy cream
3 oz. Danish blue cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground white pepper
8 8-oz. loin pork chops, 1" thick,
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1. For the purée: Put squash and ginger in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook until soft, 30–35 minutes. Remove and discard ginger. Drain squash and mash to a coarse purée. Stir in butter, herb salt, and brown sugar. Cover and keep warm.
2. For the sauce: Bring vermouth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Add cream and return to a boil. Reduce sauce by one-third, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in cheese, and season with pepper. Cover and keep warm.
3. Place an oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush chops with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill until just cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. To serve, divide sauce among four plates. Put chops on top of sauce. Serve with a dollop of squash on the side, sprinkled with almonds.
This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #26