As the crisp air wraps around our senses and we nestle into the cozy embrace of the season, there’s no better way to bring warmth to the table than with this enchanting dish.
Pre-Dinner Cocktail and Mocktail
- Crystal Head Vesper – Cocktail
- Spiced Orchard – Mocktail
- Baked Pork Chops with Pears, Honey, and Rosemary
- Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- Steamed Green Beans Almondine
- Medium-Bodied Chardonnay – Chateau St. Michelle | Columbia Valley
- Lemon and Mint Sorbet
Baked Pork Chops with Pears, Honey, and Rosemary
Yield: Dinner for Two
- 2 bone-in pork chops, about 1-inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 ripe but firm pears, halved and cored
- Pork Chop Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides.
In a cast-iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pork chops. Sear until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Transfer the skillet with the pork chops to the preheated oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Remove the skillet from the oven and let it rest.
Meanwhile, on a baking sheet, arrange the pear halves with the cut side up. Drizzle honey over each half and top with a rosemary sprig. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pears are tender.
Once the pears are baked, carefully arrange them around the pork chops in the skillet for a picturesque presentation. Drizzle any remaining honey from the baking sheet over the pork and pears.
Recommended Side Dishes
- Garlic Mashed Cauliflower:
A lighter, creamier alternative to mashed potatoes. Steam cauliflower florets until soft, then blend with roasted garlic, a touch of butter, and a splash of cream. Season to taste.
- Steamed Green Beans Almondine:
Bright, crunchy green beans tossed in melted butter and topped with slivered toasted almonds.
Opt for a medium-bodied Chardonnay with notes of pear, apple, and a touch of oak. This complements the pork’s savory flavors and mirrors the fruity sweetness of the pears.
Crystal Head Vesper
- 2 oz Crystal Head Vodka
- 1 oz gin
- 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
- 2 oz Seedlip Spice 94
- 4 oz apple juice
- Splash of ginger ale
Combine Seedlip and apple juice in a glass filled with ice, top off with ginger ale, and garnish with an apple slice.
Light and Refreshing Dessert
Lemon & Mint Sorbet
- Zest and juice of 4 large lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the lemon zest and juice. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once cool, stir in the chopped mint leaves.
- Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, place the mixture in a container in the freezer and stir every 30 minutes until set.
- Serve in chilled bowls with a sprig of mint for garnish.
May this meal encapsulate the heart of autumn, wrapping you in warmth, and creating memorable moments of intimacy and connection.
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