Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Smashed Roasted Potatoes with Black Truffle Oil Drizzle


This recipe has been spread far and wide on Pinterest, Facebook, etc. My favorite part is you can make as few or many as you need to feed your family and friends. Then.....I realized if truffle oil is delicious on fries and in mashed potatoes, wouldn't it be DELICIOUS on these little potato morsels?  Oh yes, it is!

It was just the two of us last night for supper, so I prepared a small batch.

6 - 8 white new potatoes
salt
pepper
Black Truffle Oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 T. kosher salt to water. Add potatoes and let them cook for 7 - 8 minutes until a knife can be inserted easily.

Drain potatoes and place them on the prepared baking sheet.

Using a heavy glass or a meat mallet, press downward on each potato until it is "smashed."  Lightly salt and pepper the potatoes.

Bake for 15 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn the potatoes over. Salt and pepper this side and return to oven for 10 - 15 more minutes until golden browned.

Drizzle with black truffle oil and serve immediately.


Roasted Chicken with Black Truffle Oil Drizzle


This is one of the easiest roasted chicken recipes you'll find. By removing the backbone from the chicken and flattening it out, the chicken cooks faster and more evenly. This nice little chicken roasted on top of a layer of onions, carrots, and celery. Within an hour, we were ready to eat. Oh yes, that tempting Truffle Oil drizzle? You can purchase it from http://kingsoliveoil.com/ by clicking on the link. A little goes a long way, but that little bit of drizzle adds an amazing finishing flavor. You will be proud to serve this dish to family AND guests.


1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken
2 T. olive oil
1 T. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 t. chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 - 4 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves
2 large onions, thickly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 ribs celery, ends trimmed
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 t. to 1 T. truffle oil, to drizzle
 
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Rinse the chicken well inside and out with water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Sprinkle thyme leaves over chicken.

Arrange the onion slices, carrots, celery and bay leaf in the bottom of a small roasting pan in such a way as to make a bed for the chicken to lie on while roasting.  Place rosemary sprigs on top.


As noted above, we spatchcocked the chicken by removing the backbone with kitchen shears, turning the chicken breast side up and pressing downward on the breast bone until it breaks and the chicken can be flattened.

You can certainly roast the bird whole, if desired.


Place the chicken on the bed of vegetables, breast side up, and roast in the oven until the skin is golden brown, 30 to 45 minutes. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue to roast until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear, 30 to 45 minutes longer.

Remove the chicken from the oven and set aside to rest for 10 minutes before carving. When ready to serve the chicken, carve into 8 pieces and serve, drizzled with truffle oil to taste. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs if desired. 



Adapted from recipe of Emeril Lagasse

Brie, Pear, and Cranberry Tartlets


When you're in the mood for an elegant appetizer or party food, you'll be the star of the evening when you serve a tray of these beautiful Brie, pear, and cranberry tartlets.  Puff pastry shells filled with creamy Brie and then topped with diced pears, chopped Craisins, and pecan halves are then elevated to an entirely different flavor level when you top them with a Cranberry Pear White Balsamic Vinegar reduction.  Take a browse through King's Olive Oil Company's website.

1 package (9.5) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells
6 oz. Brie cheese, cut into pieces
1 large pear, diced
1 T. Craisins, chopped
12 pecan halves, toasted in a dry skillet until fragrant
1/4 cup Cranberry Pear White Balsamic Vinegar

Prepare the puff pastry shells according to package directions. Carefully remove the pastry "tops."

While the pastry is baking, make the balsamic reduction. Place Cranberry Pear White Balsamic Vinegar into a small saucepan. Whisk in the Blood Orange Olive Oil. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Let vinegar reduce for 15 minutes or so, whisking occasionally. Set aside.

Set oven to 350 degrees. Divide Brie evenly in the pastry shells. Place the filled pastry shells on a baking sheet and return to oven. Bake for about 5 - 6 minutes until the Brief has melted. Place the pastry shells on a wire rack to cool.

Top the melted brie with diced pears and diced Craisins. Place two pecan halves on each pastry shell.

Drizzle with the balsamic reduction.  Place on serving tray and accept compliments graciously.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Cranberry Lime Sparkler


If you're looking for a super easy, bubbly, non-alcoholic drink to welcome in the New Year, I have the recipe! The recipe as given below will make one 8 oz. drink.  I doubled the amounts and divided the drinks between four champagne flutes. 

This recipe is courtesy from my friends at King's Olive Oil Company.  You will be surprised to learn that one of the ingredients of this refreshing drink is vinegar! To be specific, Cranberry Pear White Balsamic Vinegar!

Cranberry Pear has a clean, crisp and very tart taste and boasts a lovely deep, rose blush. It has an amazingly fruity, complex bouquet that shines in a multitude of culinary applications. Try Cranberry Pear  with our Roasted Almond Oil, Walnut Oil, Blood Orange Olive Oil or Persian Lime Olive Oil. Use to dress fruit or vegetable salads; use as a marinade or a glaze for poultry; or mix with gelatin for a delicious fruit aspic or even in a mixed drink as I did here!

8 oz. club soda
3 T. Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar
Wedge of lime

Pour club soda into a glass filled with crushed ice. Add Cranberry Pear Balsamic and stir until mixed thoroughly.  Squeeze lime into glass and serve.

To make four drinks as I did above, fill glasses with crushed ice. In a large measuring cup, add 16 oz. club soda, 5 - 6 T. Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar, and the juice of 1/2 lime. Stir to combine and fill glasses. Serve immediately

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Snowman Table for the Kiddos!



I have SO much fun decorating the kids' table with each change of the season or holidays. Now that we're entering the cold days of January, what better theme than snow men and snow women?  


I've had most of the items on this table for years and it's fun to add a new item or two each year to blend in with the old.

The chargers and plates (salad plate size) came from Hobby Lobby. The smaller sized plates are perfect for the little ones.

The small glasses are from a promotional give away at Long John Silvers YEARS AGO!  Does anyone remember those?



I've forgotten where I purchased the table runner!  


The salt and pepper shakers, cookie jar, and candle holders are all from Hobby Lobby. The candle holders are open in the back for a tea light candle to shine through the openings in the front.





A quick search of clip art patterns provided the snow couple for the place cards. The snowflake card holders were purchased at Hobby Lobby.





Even though this is the children's table, I know a few adults (myself included!) that would love to dine at this table.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Eggnog Biscotti


If you love eggnog, you will certainly enjoy this easy biscotti recipe. I am having so much fun learning the technique of biscotti making. Of the recipes I've made this holiday season, this one has been Sweet Harold's favorite.

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2ggs
1/2 cup eggnog
2 t. whiskey
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. salt

Glaze
1 cup powderd sugar
1 t. whisky
3 T. eggnog

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, and eggs with a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, until well blended. Mix in eggnog and whiskey until just blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Working in small batches, mix the flour mixture into butter mixture until all of the flour mixture has been added to the butter mixture and is well blended.

Divide dough in half on a floured piece of parchment paper. Shape each dough half into a long roll shape, about 12-14" long. Carefully lift rolls onto a baking sheet, 3-4 inches apart from each other. With your fingers, press down on each “log” so that they end up being about a ½" high.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully lift the parchment paper from the baking sheets and place on your cooling racks. Set aside your baking sheet, as you will use it again. When biscotti had cooled enough to handle, yet are still warm, carefully move them to a cutting board and cut crosswise slices (approximately ½" in size).

Place slices, cut side down, back on original baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Then remove from oven and turn slices over. Bake for another 8 minutes or until somewhat firm and lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks to completely cool, with tops facing up.

Glazing: space biscotti pieces no more than ½ inch or so apart from each other on either a wire rack or parchment paper (hello easy clean-up) dip a metal whisk into the glaze, allowing some of the excess to drip off. Then quickly drizzle back and forth, back and forth across sections of your Biscotti Continue until they are glazed as you like.

For Glaze
In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, whiskey and eggnog. If needed, add more eggnog or powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.



Recipe adapted from www.soufflebombay.com as adapted from Home Cooking Memories

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Tree Waffles


This recipe came across my Facebook newsfeed yesterday. Since the three granddaughters were spending the night last night, I immediately knew what their breakfast would be this morning. 

I cooked these in a Belgium waffle maker, but a regular round waffle maker would work fine as well. Green food coloring, mini chocolate candies, and a dusting of powdered sugar "snow" makes a magical Christmas season breakfast!

2 cups waffle mix
1 1/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 T. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla extract
15 drops green food coloring
Confectioner's sugar
mini candy-coated chocolate pieces such as mini M & Ms or Sixlets

Preheat round waffle iron. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients, except toppings, until blended.

Pour about 1/3 cup (if using regular waffle iron) or 1/2 cup (if using Belgium waffle iron) of the batter onto the center of hot waffle iron. Close lid. Let cook 1 - 2 minutes or until no longer steaming.

Carefully remove waffle. Repeat with remaining batter.

Carefully cut each waffle into four triangles. Layer 3 triangles on a serving plate to resemble a Christmas tree. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Place the candy pieces into the square of the waffle triangles for ornaments.

Adapted from www.mccormick.com


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Green Enchilada Chicken Soup


I love chicken enchiladas with with either red or green sauce. One of the most popular blog posts is my recipe for green chili chicken enchiladas which is found here. 

I was pressed for time this Sunday afternoon, but I knew with the temps dipping into the 20s and the cold rain has set in for a few days, this would be a nice comforting soup for the next few days.

With pantry staples and left over shredded chicken in the freezer, this pot of soup was ready within an hour and we've got leftover for dinner one night this week.  Win / Win!

Again, I wanted to build on those layers of flavor which bring a recipe together. I have fallen in love with baklouti green chili oil from www.kingsoliveoilcompany. I urge you to visit their website! They have so many wonderful infused olive oila and vinegars. Baklouti green chili oil  is made by combining one pound of organic EVOO with 1.6 pounds of fresh, whole, green Baklouti chilies! The two ingredients are then crushed and mixed in the malaxer, fusing the fresh green pepper with the organic olive oil.  

1 T. Baklouti green chili olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin 
1 t. ground coriander
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 small cans green enchilada sauce
1 small can diced green chilies 
1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups cooked shredded or diced chicken
2 - 3 T. chopped cilantro
shredded Mexican blend cheese 

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt and, stirring frequently, let cook 4 - 5 minutes until onions become translucent. This step will infuse the onions with the green chili flavor.

Add cumin, coriander, and garlic. Stir to combine and let cook another minute or so.

While onions are sauteeing, add broth to a 3 - 4 quart Dutch oven and bring to a simmer. Add onions and garlic, enchilada sauce, green chilies, beans, and chicken. Cover and let simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with tortilla chips or Mexican cornbread. Top with cilantro and/or shredded cheese. Diced avocados would be great, too!

I recommend serving a wedge of lime on the side to squeeze over the soup right before eating!

Trust me...you need to pin this one!



Saturday, December 17, 2016

Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti


My first time to bake biscotti. I found this recipe on www.backforseconds.com. I dipped one end of the biscotti into the melted white chocolate instead of drizzling over the entire piece. Next time, I think I may use mini chocolate chips instead of the regular size. These were fun to bake and the guests enjoyed them. These would be wonderful to add to your holiday baking list!

1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Topping:
4 oz. white chocolate
2 candy canes (crushed)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the cocoa powder. Mix in the eggs until well combined. Add salt and soda and mix well. Add flour and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Form dough into a loaf shape about 12 x 4" and bake on a silicone baking mat or parchment cookie sheet for 30 minutes.
Slice the loaf into 3/4-1" slices and bake for 5 more minutes with the cut side down. Flip the cookies and bake 5 more minutes. Let cool.

Drizzle the top of each biscotti with the melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Allow to set up before storing in a sealed container.



Holiday Spiced Fruit Bake with Pecans


This dish was THE hit of the Saturday before Christmas Brunch! It smelled heavenly while it was baking and the fruit cooked just enough to be softened but wasn't mushy at all. The pecans added a nice crunch factor.

2 pears (different varieties), cored and chopped
3 apples (different varieties), cored and chopped
1 large can of pineapple chunks, drained, but reserve 2 T. of juice
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 stick butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 T. orange blossom honey
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine the pears, apples, pineapple, and cranberries. Stir to combine. 

In a small saucepan, combine reserved pineapple juice, butter, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and honey over low heat. Allow butter, sugar, and honey to melt and carefully pour over fruit.

Stir to make sure all fruit is covered with the butter mixture. Pour into baking dish. Place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, add pecan halves and stir to combine. Return to oven for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Baked Egg Nog French Toast


Who really wants to take the time during the excitement of Christmas morning to stand at the stove and cook French toast on a griddle? Not me that's for sure! This batch of French toast was ready for the oven in the time it took the oven to preheat! Now that's something to appreciate on busy mornings.

1 loaf French bread, sliced in 1" slices
1 cup eggnog
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
dash of salt
1 t. cinnamon 
cinnamon sugar for topping before baking
powdered sugar and/or syrup for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.  

In a large bowl, whisk together eggnog, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon. Dip bread slices a few at a time into the eggnog mixture, and allow to soak for a minute or two. Place bread slices into prepared dish and continue until all bread slices have been dunked and placed into the dish.

Pour any remaining eggnog mixture over bread slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and place in oven.

Bake for 18 - 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately. Top with powdered sugar and /or syrup.


Bourbon Milk Punch


On past Christmas time brunches, we've had spritzers, mimosas, and even a bloody mary bar.  This year, bourbon was the spirit of choice. Simply omit the bourbon for those who choose not to imbibe or for the kiddos. The result is a really rich vanilla milkshake!

2 cups milk
1/2 cup bourbon
1/8 cup vanilla extract
1/8 cup simple syrup
8 oz. vanilla ice cream
grated nutmeg for topping

Add all ingredients except for nutmeg in a blender. Cover blender and pulse until all ingredients are well combined and but still thick like a milkshake. Pour into glasses and top with freshly grated nutmeg. Serve immediately.



From Bourbon House Restaurant in New Orleans, LA.


Saturday before Christmas Brunch 2016


This year's Saturday before Christmas Brunch was set at the imaginary "Pine Cone Lodge." From the table setting to the menu, I tried to incorporate an outdoorsy feel.  

Here's the menu:


And now on to the table!

The plates and cups are from Hobby Lobby.





I love the pine cone accented flatware from Gander Mountain.


The centerpiece and candle are from Hobby Lobby as well.


The place card holders were purchased at Kirkland's.  I printed the place cards using a clip art pine cone bough to coordinate with the one on the menu.


I hope you enjoyed your visit to The Pine Cone Lodge!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cayenne Olive Oil Infused Burgers topped with Baklouti Olive Oil Sauteed Onions


There are a million and one ways to prepare hamburgers. If you're looking for a burger with a little heat to it without the same old jalapenos or hot sauce added for flavor, here you go!

Thanks to King's Olive Oil Company for providing us with infused olive oils to add a subtle heat to both the burgers AND the sauteed onions.

For the burgers, I used the red cayenne chili oil.  This EVOO is made by crushing 12 pounds of fresh, whole, ripe cayenne chilies for each gallon produced.  The oil and chilies are fused together for two hours before decanting and filtering.  (EXTREMELY HOT!!)

For the onions, I chose the baklouti green chili oil  which is made by combining one pound of organic EVOO with 1.6 pounds of fresh, whole, green Baklouti chilies! The two ingredients are then crushed and mixed in the malaxer, fusing the fresh green pepper with the organic olive oil.  

By using a small amount of each of the specialty oils, you could definitely taste the heat, but it was not overbearing.  Remember how we have talked about "layers of flavor" you need to build while cooking a dish? This is exactly what happened here. Your taste buds will pick up on the varied flavors and they will thank you!

1 lb. ground chuck, divided into four burgers
salt
pepper
1 T. red cayenne chili oil
1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise and then thinly sliced
2 t. baklouti green chili oil 
Buns and the usual hamburger topping suspects

Place a cast iron skillet over high heat for a minute or so. Add the red cayenne chili oil to the skillet. Carefully place burgers into the skillet and allow to sear for 30 seconds or so. Lower heat to medium.

The burgers will absorb some of the hot oil during the searing process. Allow the burgers to cook 3 - 4 minutes on each side, until cooked to an internal temp of 165 degrees.


While the burgers are cooking, prepare the sauteed onions.

In a small skillet, over medium heat, add the baklouti green chili oil. Add sliced onions and lightly salt and pepper.  Saute stirring frequently until onions begin to soften and to caramelize.


Place on top of burgers and top with your favorite toppings.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Apple Spice Bundt Cake with Caramel Frosting


My daughter made this beautiful (and delicious) apple-spice bundt cake for Thanksgiving. I'm very tardy in getting this one blogged. You will definitely want to pin this one or print it out for future reference!

CREAM CHEESE FILLING
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. vanilla extract 
 
APPLE-SPICE BATTER
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
2 t. baking powder
2 t, pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 t. ground cardamom
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground coriander
3 cups (about 12 3/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
3 large Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/2 lb.), peeled and grated 
Prepare the Cream Cheese Filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Prepare the Apple-Spice Batter: Beat brown sugar, oil, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar with an electric stand mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Whisk together baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, salt, baking soda, coriander, and 3 cups flour. Gradually add to brown sugar mixture, beating on low speed until just blended. Add apples, and beat on low speed just until combined.

Spoon half of the batter into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Dollop Cream Cheese Filling over the apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through batter using a knife. Spoon remaining batter over filling.

Bake in preheated oven until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours). Spoon frosting immediately over cooled cake; sprinkle with pecans.

FOR THE FROSTING:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (about 5 oz.) powdered sugar, sifted 
Bring brown sugar, cream, and butter to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium, whisking constantly; boil, whisking constantly, 1 minute.
 Remove pan from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Gently stir until mixture begins to cool and thicken, 4 to 5 minutes. Use immediately.
From Southern Living September 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Soup a/k/a Piggy in the Garden Soup


If you're making this elegant soup for Christmas, then by all means call it "Christmas Soup" and serve it in a lovely tureen.  If you're making this delicious soup for a casual family gathering or a tailgating party, then call it by it's more technical name:  Piggy in the Garden Soup.

A base of an assortment of veggies, cubed ham, chicken broth, and frozen cubed potatoes makes for an amazing pot of soup!

2 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. self-rising flour
6 cups chicken stock
4 cups cubed cooked ham*
4 cups diced peeled potatoes**
2 cups frozen petite green peas, thawed
1 t. Herbes de Provence
1/2 t. salt (or more to suit your taste)
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

*leftover ham is fine for this soup
**you can substitute a 32 oz. bag of frozen cubed hash browns, thawed

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add chicken stock and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.

Add ham, potatoes, and peas. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add seasonings and milk or cream. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.  Slowly add cheese and stir to combine and allow to melt into the soup.

Set soup on lowest heat setting and allow to cook for another 15 minutes or so.

You can top with additional cheese when soup is served.


Monday, December 5, 2016

Melt in Your Mouth Slow Cooker Beef


Today was a typical stressful, exhausting Monday. When you add on a cold rain falling, I knew we'd need comfort food tonight. This recipe only has four ingredients which made prep time a breeze. Once again, when I got home I could smell the wonderful aroma of this delicious meal before I even opened the door to come inside. While the rice cooked, I steamed some broccoli and cauliflower and topped it with Publix's lemon finishing butter. 

1.5 lb. stew meat cut into bite sized pieces
1 can cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic
1 can beefy mushroom soup
1 envelope Lipton Beef Onion Soup Mix

Place stew meat in slow cooker. 

In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour over stew meat and stir to combine. 

Cover and let cook on low 6 - 8 hours or high 4 - 6 hours. 

Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes. Top with chopped parsley.


Harissa Maple Balsamic Vinegar Baked Boneless Pork Chops


For these lovely boneless pork chops, I mixed up a marinade using apple cider as the base flavor. I love apples with anything pork. For this recipe, I used Harissa infused olive oil.   Harissa is the hottest infused olive oil.  I paired it with the Maple Balsamic Vinegar.  To purchase these specialty oils and vinegars, visit King's Olive Oil Company.

Due to the weather today being cold and rainy, the pork chops were baked in the oven. I'm sure they would have been even more amazing cooked on the grill.

As the pork chops baked, I boiled the marinade to kill any bacteria, reduce the liquid, and thicken the mixture to add to the pork chops near the end of their baking time.

4 oz. apple cider or apple juice
2 oz. Harissa olive oil
3 oz. Maple Balsamic Vinegar
1 oz. honey
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. granulated garlic
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs. boneless pork chops

In a small bowl, whisk together the first eight ingredients. Place pork chops in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Carefully pour marinade into bag and seal.  Place in refrigerator for 2 - 3 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Place pork chops into dish and bake for 20 minutes.

While chops are baking, pour marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil AT LEAST 12 minutes. Lower heat to a simmer so that the marinade will continue to reduce and thicken.

Remove chops from oven and brush with reduced sauce. Return to oven for another 10 minute or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

I served the pork chops with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts which incorporated a chipotle flavor along with the maple balsamic vinegar. I was very happy with the results. The heat level wasn't that high for me. If you'd rather have a milder taste or no heat at all, choose either plain olive oil or the chipotle version.