Kramer and I went to the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden this past weekend for a friend’s birthday. It was our first time there, and I really have to say how much I enjoyed it! We had been wanting to go up there for a while, but it’s a bit of a trip to get up to Astoria from where we lived, so we never got the chance to go. It was an unusually warm September day for New York, so it was a great day to go. The beer was reasonably priced, which isn’t normally the case for beer gardens in the city, and I loved the large, outdoor space that they had. I really hope that we get to go back again soon! It’s just nice to go outside for a beer to enjoy the weather before it’s too cold. Where are your favorite outdoor spots where you live?
I saw some beautiful plums while at the Union Square Greenmarket a week or two ago, so I picked some up and decided to do something a little different with them. I was originally thinking to bake with them, but then thought that they would do very well in a dish with pork. Pork is naturally sweet, so it pairs wonderfully with all types of fruit, such plums, or even peaches, apples, figs, and so on. I wanted to keep it simple, because I had never paired the two together before. I think that Chinese five spice has a nice bite to it, lending itself well to sweeter dishes, as it usually incorporates flavors such as fennel seed, cinnamon, and star anise. I rubbed the pork chops with that, along with salt and pepper, seared them in some butter, then topped that with a sauce made from white wine, orange juice, and plums. I loved the combination of all of these ingredients. It really tasted like fall to me, with the sweet and savory notes, and I loved the slightly tart plums with the sweet orange juice and the pork, all in one bite. The Chinese five spice is not overwhelming, but instead, quite delicate, yet it added a real depth of flavor and tied all of the separate ingredients together. It might sound like a bit of a strange combination, but try it and see for yourself how delicious it really is!
Your ingredients (minus the orange; I decided it needed some acidity last minute).
Squeeze your orange juice. I squeeze a bit extra to drink while I cooked, of course.
Cube your plums and set aside.
Rub your chops with Chinese five spice, salt, and pepper. Place in a pan over high heat with the melted butter.
Cook the chops for 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through and nicely browned.
Remove the pork chops to a separate place or surface, cover with foil to keep warm, and set aside.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine and scrape up any browned bits with a spatula or wooden spoon. After that, add in the orange juice.
Add the plums and cook until softened and the sauce has reduced a bit.
When the plums have softened, add the chops back to the pan to warm up a bit, making sure to coat well with the sauce.
Serve with plenty of sauce and plums and dig in!
- 2 pork chops, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup white wine
- 3 plums, cubed (go ahead and leave the skins on, as I did)
- Chinese Five Spice
- juice of ½ an orange
- Rub the pork chops with Chinese five spice, salt, and pepper. Heat the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add in the pork chops, turn the heat to high, and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove to a separate plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Turn the heat back down to medium. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up any browned bits with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add in the orange juice, then add in the plums. Cook over medium heat until the plums have softened, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the pork chops back to the pan to warm up and coat with the sauce in the pan. Serve topped with plenty of plums and sauce and enjoy! Serves 2.