Some quick n' fancy dinner ideas

I cannot help but try and incorporate fruit into all of my meals when there is so much of it available. Take cherries, there have been some absolutely gorgeous garnet beauties hanging out at the farmer's market these past few weeks and I've snatched up a carton on every visit I could. What did I do with all of them? Well, besides just eat them standing directly over the trash can, (to take care of the pits) I made this Food Matters Project inspired lunch that also involved some carbs and cheese, and Jessica over at How Sweet It Is has this recipe for  bourbon maple pork chops that I used as the inspiration for this. pork chop with cherry maple bourbon sauce

Cherry Bourbon Maple Pork Chops (Inspired by this recipe.) Serves 2

1/2 cup bourbon
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1 clove garlic minced
5-7 cherries pitted and roughly chopped
2 pork chops
1/2 cup beer
salt & pepper
canola oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small sauce pan, combine bourbon, sugar, maple syrup, garlic, Worcestershire, vinegar, mustard and cherries. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let thicken.

Pound pork chops a bit with a meat tenderizer (or whatever kitchen gadget you have handy.  I say that because I don't actually have a meat tenderizer ha.) Heat a cast iron skillet or large-enough dutch oven over medium high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with a little canola oil and let the pan get really, really hot. Add the pork chops and sear on the first side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Flip and let the other side sear for 2-3 minutes more. Turn off the heat, add the beer to the pan and place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. (Time will ultimately depend on the thickness of your pork chops.)

Once done, top the pork chops with the glaze and serve immediately. Serve with some roasted potatoes for a 100% dude approved meal.

fruit and bacon on pizza

Strawberries have also managed to sneak their way into a lot of my meal ideas. Instagram proved to be the inspiration for this dinner when a friend was enjoying a Flying Dog and Pizza pairing dinner down in DC. One of the pizzas on the menu was a strawberry and bacon pizza ... wait for it ... yeah, exactly. I was initially going to try to make a strawberry basil pesto, but found myself without my food processor. So I just threw my strawberries, basil, bacon, red onions and goat cheese on a whole wheat crust and hoped for the best.

I got three enthusiastic thumbs up from the friends (and Rob) who helped me polish off two of these pizzas.