Pork Chops with Pears and Blue Cheese
This easy fall recipe combines ripe, juicy pears with creamy blue cheese to make a delicious topping for boneless pork chops.
The dish takes just thirty minutes to prepare, so it's easy enough for weeknights, but the flavors are sophisticated enough to make it a nice choice for a company meal as well.
In the fall, when pears are at their peak in flavor and availability, they make a wonderful accompaniment for boldly flavored blue cheeses like Gorgonzola and Roquefort.
Our recipe builds on that classic fruit and cheese pairing by sautéing the pears along with shallots and fresh thyme, before combining them with the cheese (we used Gorgonzola).
You get a bit of the topping with every bite of pork, and that sweet and savory balance of flavors is incredibly satisfying, not to mention the perfect choice to serve with simple side dishes like roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed spinach.
Tips For Buying Boneless Pork Chops
Because today's pork is bred to be much leaner than it was years ago, it's important to choose cuts that have visible marbling throughout the meat.
This is particularly important with boneless cuts like the chops in this recipe.
That little bit of fat running through the meat is what produces a tender, juicy chop once cooked, so resist the temptation to buy any pork that looks too lean.
You'll also want to leave that thin edge of fat around the edges of your chops. It can always be trimmed off at the table.
- 4 boneless pork loin chops (1 to 1-1/4 lbs)
- Olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 medium pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2-1/2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (we used Gorgonzola)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place the pork chops between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound them to an even thickness of about 1/2-inch.
- Coat both sides of the chops with a bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Place an oven-proof frying pan large enough to accomodate the chops in a single layer over medium heat. Add the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Once the butter has melted, add the pears and minced shallot. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the thyme. Continue cooking until the pears are tender, 3 to 4 minutes longer, then transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
- Return the pan to the stove, add a little more olive oil and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chops in a single layer and cook for 1 minute per side. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the Gorgonzola cheese to the bowl containing the sautéed pears and combine thoroughly. Spoon 1/4 of the mixture on top of each pork chop and place the pan in the oven.
- Bake just long enough for the Gorgonzola to melt, 3 to 4 minutes (do not overcook).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 341mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 27g