- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 18, 2005

In this easy saute dish, vinegar and sugar are caramelized in the skillet to make a deep, richly flavored base for a sauce. Ginger adds a spicy note that plays against the mild flavors of pork and pear.

The recipe is from “The Essential EatingWell Cookbook” (Countryman Press), edited by Patsy Jamieson. The book is a collection of 350 recipes from the team of cooks who contribute to EatingWell magazine.

“These are the must-have recipes our own staff members take home at night, alongside time-tested winners that our readers call and write to request over and over again,” Miss Jamieson writes.

Pork chops with pear-and-ginger sauce

The preparation time is 20 minutes; 40 minutes start to finish.

4 4-ounce boneless pork chops, -inch thick, trimmed

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 teaspoons canola oil (see note)

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

2/3 cup dry white wine

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 firm, ripe pear, such as Bosc or Anjou, peeled, cored and cut lengthwise into eighths

1-inch-long piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin julienne strips (1/4 cup)

6 scallions, trimmed and sliced into -inch lengths

2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water

Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add pork and cook until browned and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Add vinegar and sugar to the pan; stir to dissolve the sugar.

Cook over medium-high heat until the syrup turns dark amber, 10 to 20 seconds.

Pour in wine (stand back, as the caramel may sputter) and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add broth, pear and ginger; bring to a simmer.

Cook, uncovered, turning the pear pieces occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add scallions and cook until the pear is tender, about 2 minutes more. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until lightly thickened.

Reduce heat to low and return the pork and any accumulated juices to the pan; turn to coat with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: Canola oil is available in most supermarkets; if not at hand, substitute vegetable oil.

Nutrition information per serving: 237 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 52 mg cholesterol, 20 g carbohydrate, 22 g protein, 2 g fiber, 278 mg sodium.

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