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Pork Chops with Kumquat Marmalade

This is a recipe provided by Trevett Hooper, chef of the acclaimed Pittsburgh restaurant Legume Bistro. In an interview with Seasonal Chef, he talked about his connections with farmers in the region who supply many of the meats, fruits and vegetables that he features in his restaurant, how he has incorporated unusual ingredients such as goat and over-wintered root crops in his menu, and why he believes it is important to purchase and use whole hogs rather than boxes of cuts of meat.

Buttermilk Brine Pork Chops

2 1/4 cups cultured buttermilk
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2-inch thick pork chops
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Mix the buttermilk, salt and sugar thoroughly and soak the pork chops in the brine overnight.

2. Remove the pork chops from the brine and rinse thoroughly.

3. Season with pepper and dredge the chops in the flour.

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and place the chops in the pan.

5. Sear carefully on one side, flip them over, and then put them in a 400-degree oven for about 6 minutes, or until reaching desired doneness.

Kumquat and Shallot Marmalade

3 shallots, diced large
1 tart apple, diced large
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 pound kumquats, quartered and seeded
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
Salt, to taste

1. Saute the shallots and diced apple in the oil until softened, for about 4 minutes. Add the kumquats and sugar and cook over medium heat until everything is tender, for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the water. Season with salt.

2. Place about 1/4 cup of the marmalade onto each pork chop and serve. The leftover marmalade will keep in the refrigerator for days.

Copyright 2007 Seasonal Chef