Maple-Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops with Thyme Poached Quince

Posted on February 20, 2012 by Tommye Solem

Ingredients (Pork Chops):

8 boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil (try our Arbosana, Picholine, Leccino or Frantoio/Leccino)
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/3 cup Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar

Ingredients (Thyme Poached Quince):

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Pumpkin Spice White Balsamic Vinegar
1 - 3" sprig fresh thyme
1 ripe quince (about 10 oz.) peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (apples can be substituted by reducing the poaching time to 20 minutes)

Instructions: Thyme Poache Quince

Bring water and balsamic to a simmer in a 2 - 2 1/2 quart saucepan. Add the quince and sprig of thyme. Simmer, gently stirring once or twice, until quince is tender, about 35 minutes. Discard the thyme sprig, drain quince in a sieve set over a bowl and reserve for pan sauce.

Instructions for Pork Chops:

Pat pork chops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. In nonstick 12 inch skillet, heat the EVOO over med-high heat. Cook chops 4 minutes one side, turn over and cook 3 minutes the other side. Transfer to platter and keep warm. Increase heat to high. Stir shallot into pan juices; cook 2 minutes. Stir in the balsamic and cook down for an additional 2 minutes. Add the strained poached quince to the pan and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

To serve, ladle the pan sauce and quinces over the pork chops.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Dark Chocolate Tangerine Ganache

Posted on December 28, 2011 by Tommye Solem


Brownie Ingredients:

1/2 cup California Arbosana EVOO
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 

Brownie Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, mix together the olive oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended.  Stir in walnuts, if desired. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Ganache Ingredients:

9 ounces best quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Tangerine Balsamic Vinegar
2" long strip tangerine zest
a pinch of kosher salt - optional 

Ganache Directions:

Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream, salt, and tangerine zest in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a bare simmer, watching very carefully so does not boil out of pot and scorch. When the cream has come to a simmer, remove the zest, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk  until smooth. Stir in the Tangerine Balsamic. Allow the ganache to cool, looking for a spreadable consistency before frosting the brownies. Start at the center of the brownies and work outward.

Chocolate Persian Lime Coconut Truffles

Posted on December 22, 2011 by Tommye Solem

Ingredients:

8 1/2oz. Dark Chocolate (semi-sweet, bittersweet or combo)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons Persian Lime Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
Cocoa powder, as needed
Limes, finely zested
Shredded coconut, as needed

Directions:

Pour heavy cream in bowl over simmering water (double boiler). Turn off heat and stir in chocolate and EVOO. Once chocolate has melted remove bowl from double boiler and stir in balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate chocolate for 1 hour and return to room temperature for 1-2 hours. Put cocoa powder in a bowl and mix lime zest and coconut in another bowl. Scoop 1 tsp of chocolate and form into a ball. Roll balls into the different coatings. Store in refrigerator. (Makes about 45 truffles.)

Festive Salsa

Posted on December 22, 2011 by Tommye Solem

Ingredients: 

8 fresh ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup Tangerine Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Chipotle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 cup Jalapeno Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

Mix all ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and chill. The flavors taste even better the next day...so make a day in advance if you can.

Marinated Shrimp & Artichoke Salad

Posted on December 22, 2011 by Tommye Solem

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Premium White Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons finely chopped green onion
3 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence EVOO
1 (.75oz) envelope garlic & herb dressing mix
1 lb. peeled and deveined, large cooked shrimp
1 14oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
1 6oz. can large black olives, drained
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 4oz. package crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

Whisk together balsamic vinegar and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Stir in shrimp and next 4 ingredients. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours. Stir in desired amount of basil just before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.

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