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.
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
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.