|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Pears are neglected in a lot of culinary adventures. I think this is partially due to the sensitive nature of them. Flavors are subtle and they ripen quickly and bruise easily. In reality, though, pears provide a nice soft texture and the light sweetness helps provide just enough of a little somethin' extra.
Poaching the pears allows the natural flavors to be captured as well to soak up flavors of the liquids and the tasting notes of the allspice and star anise. It is paired (no pun intended) here with pork chops in order to complement the subtle flavors of this type of meat.
Normally I like to eat Bartlett pears raw and use Bosc pears to cook with, however, depending on which you have available to you, go ahead and use that kind. The reason for using one for eating and one for cooking is the flavor profiles of each pear. Bartlett pears tend to be sweet and succulent while Bosc pears tend to be more subtle in sweetness and are slightly softer.
- 4 pork chops, cooked
- 4 pears, Bartlett or Bosc
- 2 cups concord grape juice
- Zest from half of one lime
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 whole allspice berries
- 3 whole star anise
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 teaspoon
- pinch of salt
Peel the four pears, leaving them whole and the stems intact. Set aside.
Next combine the concord grape juice, lime zest, sugar, water, and spices (including a pinch of salt) in a medium saucepan. Stir ingredients to lightly mix them together. Put the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Allow it to boil for 7 minutes.
Once the mixture has reached a boil, add the pears and simmer for approximately 15 minutes uncovered. Turn the pears occasionally as to cook all sides.
After about fifteen minutes, the liquid should turn into a syrup consistency and the pears should be slightly browned. Pull saucepan from the heat source and allow to cool for five minutes.
Place your pork chops on serving plates and place one pear atop each pork chop (note there should be one pear for each pork chop).
Next, divide the syrup and drizzle equal parts over each of the pear and pork chops. Lastly, take chopped walnuts and garnish over each dish. You can also sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon over each to add a more aesthetically pleasing element to your finished dish. Final and foremost, serve and enjoy!
These pears can also be eaten by themselves or with vanilla bean ice cream for a fruity and sweet dessert! If eaten as a dessert feel free to drizzle a small amount of pure maple syrup over the top for a rich decadent flavor.