• Pork Chops
  • 4 thick pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1 green or red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 scallions, cut on a bias, optional
  • Wild Rice
  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 3 1/2 cups Pacific Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

I had four beautifully thick pork chops ready to be prepared and I was in need of a quick weeknight meal.  I went to my pantry for inspiration.  Sesame oil, rice wine vinegar…hmm…how about a sweet and sour sauce? All of the ingredients for this recipe were readily available in my pantry and took only a couple of minutes to prepare.  Although the pork chops were very thick, they cooked in no time. The final flavor was a delicious balance between sweet and sour.  The chops remained juicy as well! No need for take out – this recipe is a winner!

For pork chops

Heat your grape seed oil in a large family skillet.  Grape seed oil is a wonderful choice because it’s delicate flavor stands up nicely to high heat. Add your pork chops and let brown for two to three minutes on one side until they can be turned over with ease.  Heating the pan and the oil before placing your protein will help it not to stick to the pan. Avoid the tearing of your meat by allowing the pork to fully brown. Brown second side three minutes more.

Once pork is browned on brown sides, transfer to a plate. Add bell pepper, garlic, ginger, light brown sugar, red crushed pepper flakes, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.  Stir and cook for two minutes and then place your browned pork chops back into the pan. Turn your pork chops over a couple of times to coat, close with lid and simmer over med/high heat for additional 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to constantly check your chops and the sauce because the brown sugar will burn if overcooked.

Substitutes for brown sugar might be: molasses, apricot preserves, raw honey, or agave nectar.

Pineapple chunks would be a nice addition to this recipe as well; add to the sauce as it cooks.

Serve with wile rice and garnish with scallions.

For Wild Rice

In a small saucepan, bring your chicken broth to a boil. Add salt, sesame oil and wild rice.  Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Stir occasionally and add extra broth if needed. Cook for about 5 minutes or until rice is tender.