Despite fatty image, pork can be healthy pick

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pork and fat often seem to go hand in hand, perhaps because bacon, sausage and barbecue are so popular. But don't let this keep you from considering pork as a healthy choice.

Pork tenderloin mostly gets kudos for its healthful nutritional profile, and for good reason. With just about 3 grams of fat per 3-ounce cooked serving, it comes close in leanness to boneless, skinless chicken breasts. With only about 120 calories per serving, it's a good choice if you're watching your weight.

Pork Chops with Pear, Onions and Rosemary

4 center-cut, boneless pork top loin chops, trimmed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced (1/2 cup)

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 large ripe, firm pear, peeled, cored and chopped

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried

3/4 cup apple juice

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the pork chops and cook until they are just barely pink at the center, 6 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Transfer the chops to a plate and cover with foil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onions and brown sugar to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat if the onions begin to burn.

Add the pears and rosemary and cook until the pears are just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the apple juice and vinegar, then simmer until the mixture is reduced and slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the mustard. Return the pork chops to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Serve the chops with the pear and onion sauce spooned over the top.

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