Maple, Mustard, Bourbon Pork Chops with Micro-Steamed Green Beans

Date Night!

Each Wednesday, hangry bf and I choose recipes from some of my many cookbooks to make for date night! It not only makes my insane collection of cookbooks seem reasonable, but it's also really fun to cook together once in a while.  He does much better with a written recipe than my MacGuyver style cooking off the cuff. Last week we chose The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt and picked recipes that could utilize our pork chops from Liberty Delight Farms and a whole mess of green beans.  The result?  Succulent maple, mustard, Bourbon pork chops with crisp beans tossed with olives and almonds.  Try it for yourself with the recipe below!

Maple, Mustard, Bourbon Pork Chops with
Micro-Steamed Green Beans

Hangry Timer: 25 minutes
Serves: 2
Cost: $20

What you need:

1 Tbsp. Bourbon
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/8 cup Molasses
2 Tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard
2 bone-in Pork Chops
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1 tsp. minced fresh Thyme (optional)

8 ozs. Green Beans, ends trimmed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata or other Olives
2 Tbsp. slivered or sliced Almonds, toasted
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh Parsley
1 tsp. fresh Lemon Juice

*I adapted this recipe to serve two instead of four. 

What to do with it:

Whisk together the syrup, molasses, boubon, and mustard in a small bowl and set aside. 

Cook chops.  Pat the pork chops dry and season with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron or heavy-bottomed stainless steel skillet over high heat until smoking. Carefully add the chops and cook, flipping them frequently*, until both sides have developed a light brown crust (if the oil starts to burn or smokes incessantly, reduce the heat to medium-low), about 5 minutes.

Add the butter and thyme, if using, and continue to cook, turning the chops frequently, until they are deep brown on both sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 135º F for medium, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the chops to a platter, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

While the chops are resting, pour off the fat from the skillet.  Add the maple syrup mixture, return to medium-high heat, and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the mixture is reduced by half and syrupy.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Return the chops to the skillet and turn to coat with the glaze.  Serve immediately, pouring the extra glaze on top with the green beans.

Place the green beans in an even layer on a large microwave-safe plate. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Lay a triple layer of damp paper towels on top of the beans, completely covering them, or cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Microwave on HIGH until the beans are bright green and tender but still crisp -- 2 1/2 to 6 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave -- stopping to check them along the way. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the olives, almonds, oil, parsley and lemon juice to the beans and toss to incorporate. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve right away. Enjoy!

*I flip the pork chops every two minutes to attain the beautiful golden color and perfectly pink pork.