Sunday, July 19, 2009

Coffee Rubbed Pork Chops with Apricot Sauce

One of my favorite steak dishes is the coffee rubbed fillet at Capital Grille, and I'm not even a coffee drinker. But there is something about the smokey earth sweetness that pairs so nicely with the meaty texture, similar, I guess, to barbecue sauce. Well, I did not have any steak on hand, but I did have boneless pork chops in the freezer, so I set out to see if the pairing would work as well. After reviewing a few coffee rubs in cookbooks and online, I settled on adapting the recipe from this site. Plus, I liked the suggestion of the apricot topping. (And let me say that pork is the only meat entree that I will pair with fruit. Otherwise, I save it for dessert - see Medallions of Pork with Pear Sauce.)

The dish was a breeze to make. I marinated the pork for a few hours in the refrigerator and let it come close to room temperature before grilling. Slice up some apricots and soften them in a saucepan and voila! Coffee rubbed pork chops with apricot sauce. The tangy sweetness of the fruit was a nice contrast to the smokey spice of the rub (thanks to some chili powder).
Coffee Rubbed Pork Chops with Apricot Sauce
Serves 4

4 boneless pork chops

1 1/2 TBS French roast coffee (ground)
3/4 TBS smokey paprika
1/4 TBS chili powder
3/4 TBS coursely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt

3 apricots, pitted and sliced
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/2 TBS sugar
dash of salt

Combine coffee, paprika, chili powder, black pepper and salt. Rub over pork, cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours. Let pork come to room temperature before grilling 4-5 minutes on each side.

For the sauce, combine the apricots, lemon juice, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan. Heat on low for 4-5 minutes until apricots just begin to break down.

Top grilled pork with apricots.

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