Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pork Loin Chops with Vermouth Blue Cheese Sauce and Butternut Squash Puree

(Adapted from Ranch House Restaurant)


A girl I work with was just RAVING about the Ranch House Restaurant in Ojai and was telling me all about this vermouth blue cheese sauce they had.

Since Ojai is a bit far, I decided to try to re-create the sauce as she had described it. To my surprise, I was able to find the recipe for it on Saveur.com!

Ive made blue cheese sauce for pork chops before, but the vermouth, the herb-salt, and the pairing with the butternut squash is just ridiculous. It's not even right how good this dish is.

WARNING: You might need to lick your plate.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

FOR THE HERB SALT:
  • 1 tbsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp. chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme


FOR THE PURÉE:
  • 1 1-lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 1" piece fresh ginger, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. Herb Salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sliced almonds


FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1.5 cup dry vermouth
  • 1¾ cups heavy cream
  • 3 oz. Danish blue cheese, crumbled
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • herb salt


  • 4 8-oz. loin pork chops, 1" thick, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt


Directions:

1. Combine herb salt ingredients in a food processor and puree until it has a sand-like texture. Set aside. 

2. For the purée: Put squash and ginger in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook until soft, 30–35 minutes. Remove and discard ginger. Drain squash and mash to a coarse purée. Stir in butter, herb salt, and brown sugar. Cover and keep warm.

3. For the sauce: Bring vermouth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Add cream and return to a boil. Reduce sauce by one-third, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in cheese, and season with hen salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm. 


4. Place an oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush chops with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill until just cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. To serve, divide sauce among four plates. Put chops on top of sauce. Serve with a dollop of squash on the side, sprinkled with almonds.

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