Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce

You only have a few, short weeks to enjoy cherries. As much as I love to just snack on them, it is also fun to cook them. This New York Times recipe calls for letting the pork chops sit with a rosemary, garlic rub over night, but I forgot and just did it while I was preparing the rest of the meal. It was great despite that slip up.

Pitting cherries may seem like a pain in the butt, but just grab a Starbucks straw and push it carefully through the cherry – the pit will pop right out.
Pork Chops w Cherry Sauce

4 pork loin chops, preferably bone-in and at least 1 inch thick
1 TB. minced fresh rosemary
1 ts. salt, plus more for the sauce
1 ts. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for the sauce
1 ts.  finely minced garlic
3 TB. butter
1 TB. minced shallot
1 cup cherries, stemmed, pitted and halved
½ cup fruity red wine

Pat the chops dry, and rub them all over with a mixture of the rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic. Cover, and marinate for up to 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. Bring the chops back to room temperature before grilling.

If you are using a grill, heat one side of a charcoal or gas grill, and put the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Cook the chops over the hottest part of the fire until well seared on both sides, about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Move them to the cool part of the grill, cover and cook until done, anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat of the fire and the thickness of the chops.

If you are using a grill pan, heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook pork about 4-5 minutes per side.

The pork is done when it’s just firm to the touch, its juices run just slightly pink and the meat is rosy in the center, or when an instant-read thermometer registers 135 degrees in the thickest part of the chop (the temperature will continue to rise as the chops rest). Transfer them to a platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let them rest while you make the sauce.

Put 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, add the shallots, and cook until soft, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the cherries, wine and whatever juices have accumulated around the pork chops; cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces into a thin syrup, 5 or 6 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, a little at a time, until it’s incorporated into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chops, and serve.

Sugar Snap Peas
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1 lb. sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
1 pat of butter
salt and pepper

Fill a medium saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil. Add sugar snap peas and butter to boiling water and let simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the peas are bright green but still crisp. Drain and season with salt and pepper.