Here in Colorado, we live life on OUR terms and we make our own rules. This philosophy is carried out in our cooking as well. We use whatever we have and cook things up just how we want, with big, bold flavors and combinations that others wouldn’t even dare to think about. Sure, there are recipes that don’t always work out as expected, but this is true with anything and any style of cooking. But more so than not, things work out just perfectly and the results are AWESOME! In case you haven’t figured it out already, I am a REBEL! Always have been and always will be too. Maybe this is why I love my adopted state so much. It just fits my personality and my persona. In the kitchen, I am FEARLESS (although this is pretty true in all aspects of my life too). I take bold, rebellious recipes and tweak them even more, giving them my own personality and my own twist. This recipe is no different. I add things; I delete things; I change the cooking methods; you name it, and I am going to find some way to tweak just about everything I make. That’s just who I am and just what I do. 🙂
It was time for some pork in our meat rotation. For some reason, I was really craving something with a honey mustard base, but I also wanted something bigger and bolder too. I went to my Colorado cookbooks and instantly found something that fit the bill – roasted pork chops with olives and artichokes. It uses simple, basic ingredients, but it mixes them together in a different way.
(Sorry for the poor quality of this photo. I couldn’t get it any clearer).
Rocky Mountain Pork Chops with Olives and Artichokes
2 lbs of pork, either chops or tenderloin
2 TBSP garlic, divided
2 TBSP lemon juice, divided
1 tsp lemon and/or lime zest – I used both
3 TBSP honey
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/2 red onion, diced fine
1 tsp dried, crushed rosemary
salt to taste
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup of mixed olives – I used 1/2 cup of Kalamata and 1/2 cup of Greek green olives
2 cans artichoke hearts, cut in 1/2, reserve the juice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp cornstarch
Mix 1 TBSP of garlic with the honey, mustard, lemon or lime zest and most of the lemon juice and use as a marinade for the pork. (You can also use this for chicken too). Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before cooking.
When you are ready to cook the meat, preheat the oven to 375* F or about 190* C. Roast the meat for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160* F.
While the pork is cooking, make the sauce. Saute the onions and the other TBSP of garlic in the hot olive oil for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the remaining lemon juice, salt, pepper, rosemary, olives, and the artichokes with their juice. I also added the rest of my marinade too, but you do not have to do this if you do not want to. Combine everything together well.
Combine the cornstarch and the wine, and add to the mixture. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
When the pork is completely cooked, serve it over either rice or pasta and spoon the sauce over the pork. This meal has it all. You have your protein, your starch and your vegetables, so no need to really serve it with anything else, unless you want to. I served it all along side some warmed bread with an olive oil dipping sauce and, of course, more of the same dry white wine I used for the sauce.
Welcome to the Rocky Mountain style of cooking. One bite and you will definitely be hooked, coming back for more.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.