NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

October 16, 2013

A healthy, grapey pan sauce with pork chops

(Continued)

Still, you’re going to want to thicken this sauce. If I were working with a homemade chicken stock, this wouldn’t be a problem. But I’m trying to get dinner on the table on a weeknight, so I typically use store-bought chicken broth, which lacks the gelatin that thickens a sauce.

What to do? Coat the chops with flour, preferably Wondra, an instant flour that Granny used to use. It will not only thicken the sauce, but keep the meat from drying out even as it provides a crisper crust than regular all-purpose flour. Good old Wondra will also come in handy when you’re making pan gravy at Thanksgiving because it’s been formulated not to lump up.

The big flavor in this sauce comes from the grapes and the mustard. I never knew how “grapey” a grape could be until I first made sole Veronique — sole served in a cream sauce with peeled green grapes — in cooking school. You’ll see for yourself. Though we’ve skipped the pesky peeling part.

Pure pleasure aside, grapes are also a terrific source of resveratrol, the powerful antioxidant found in wine. So, in one quick, economical and widely adaptable recipe, you get big flavor, good health and a pan gravy. Maybe that’s pretty fancy after all.

SAUTEED PORK CHOPS AND GRAPES WITH MUSTARD SAUCE

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

Four 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork chops (about 1 pound total), trimmed of any fat

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Wondra flour, for dredging the pork chops

11/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1 cup seedless red or green grapes, halved

1/4 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. One at a time, dip the pork chops in the flour, coating them well on both sides, but shaking off the excess.

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