This low-fat variation on a down home favorite has more punch

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Pork chops and applesauce are a winning combination that families have been serving up for decades.

The simple interaction between the sweetness of the apples and the pork's savory flavor offers a delicious contrast, and the pork chops' low fat content makes it a healthy home-cooking staple.

This variation on the down-home favorite has a little more punch -- plums and dried blueberries take the place of apples and molasses punctuates the dish with added sweetness. For a twist, use cranberries or chopped dried cherries instead of blueberries.

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Molasses-Plum Sauce

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup dried blueberries

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons molasses

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

3 plums, pitted, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)

Cooking spray

4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1 inch thick)

Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)

Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in broth, blueberries, vinegar, molasses, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, coriander and plums; bring to a boil Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until plums are tender and mixture is thick.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over pork chops. Add pork chops to skillet; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Reduce heat to medium; cook 4 minutes or until done. Remove pork chops from skillet; cover and keep warm. Add plum mixture to skillet; bring to a simmer. Cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Spoon plum mixture over pork. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Makes 4 servings. (Serving size: 1 pork chop and 1/4 cup plum mixture.)

Nutrition information per serving: about 299 cal., 27.1 g pro., 26.6 g carbo., 9.6 g total fat (2.9 g saturated), 69 mg chol., 434 mg sodium.

(Recipe from the April issue of Cooking Light magazine.)

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