Hi, I'm Torrey. Welcome to Left Field, where creativity runs amok and imagination is ALWAYS more important than knowledge. Shoes are not allowed but ties are optional. This is a repository of snippets from my life out here in Left Field. One never knows what shiny bits of creativity will be found here... cards, scrapbook layouts, photography, poetry, recipes, ponderings, rantings and musings. It could be anything! Life in Left Field is always changing, always real, always ...interesting.

November 7, 2011

The Other White Meat

One of my other passions is cooking. Occasionally, I post recipes here for you to try (don't worry, I only post the good ones).  If you would like more of my recipes...check out my recipe collection at Just A Pinch recipe club.

Balsamic-Cranberry-Orange Glazed Pork Chops

I recently purchased a whole pork loin--why? Well, let's do the math, shall we? Center-cut pork chops will run you, MINIMUM, $4-5 a pound. A pork loin roast runs about the same. A whole pork loin--less than $2 a pound when you find 'em on sale. And all a center-cut chop is, is a chop cut from the loin, and a roast--well, it's just a REALLY BIG chop. I are smart and thrifty. And, I love wrapping meat in butcher paper. Go figure.. 

But loins...well they're HUGE...I mean ATSALOTTA MEAT! I was pressed to figure out what to do with all this pork aside from serving it Fred-Flinstone style and running the risk of tipping over the car. So, I got the butcher to cut PART of it into 1" chops and leave the rest uncut (actually got 12 or so chops and a roast out of it). I came up with this recipe on the fly--as in "Oh geez, it's dinner time and I haven't planned anything out"  (already had the cranberry/orange mix in my fridge--I spread it on toast). Whatya know? It's easy, quick and actually quite tasty! My family raved, so I guess it has found its place among my arsenal o' recipes.

Ingredients: Serves 4
- 4 pork chops, center cut
- 1 can(s) jellied cranberry sauce
- 1 Tbsp dried, grated orange peel
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Bring pork chops to room temp, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper (on both sides) before cooking. 
  3. Pour oil in large, heavy skillet...heat over medium-high heat until REALLY hot (sorry, I didn't measure temp--but it was searingly hot)
  4. In bowl, combine cranberry sauce and orange peel. Stir until well blended. You'll only need about half of this mixture, So, put the other 1/2 of this cranberry/orange mixture in sealed plastic container, refrigerate and save for later (it makes a TOTALLY yummy spread for your toast).
  5. To remaining half of cranberry/orange mix add balsamic vinegar and stir until blended. 
  6.  Arrange pork chops in hot skillet and sear just until browned then flip over and sear other side (about 2 min per side). **NOTE** This stuff splatters so be careful not to get burned!
  7. Transfer seared pork chops to 8x8 baking dish. Add 2-3 TBS water in bottom of pan. Spread pork chops, generously, with cranberry mixture. Place on middle rack of preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. At very end of baking time, switch oven to broil to "caramelize" cranberry glaze. Watch it closely...this only takes a minute or so and you don't wanna burn it.
  9. Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes before serving. 
Bon appetit, y'all! 


  1. I'm going to give this a try. I know what you mean about pork loins. I go through about one a month used to be two when all the kids lived at home.

  2. Mmmmmm, sounds delish! I'll be giving this a try soon. TFS
    Babs xo


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