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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pork Chops, Blue Cheese and Butternut Squash Puree

A friend recently asked for a butternut squash soup recipe--I immediately thought of this butternut squash puree which is a perfect side to accompany Blue Cheese Vermouth Pork Chops courtesy of Saveur magazine. So it's not quite soup but I've made both these recipes for years and am happy to share them with you. Do enjoy! Wonderful for the fall!

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.

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

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

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