Sweet Potato Succotash & Pear Glazed Pork Chops
Sweet Potato Succotash & Pear Glazed Pork Chops, another solo dinner at Chez Gypsy featuring autumn flavours. It’s almost impossible not to make Looney Tunes references when motioning succotash… “sweet sufferin’ succotash!” It’s not often I quote Sylvester the Cat.
Succotash was not created by Mel Blanc and his Warner Brother’s cohorts, it originates from Native American Algonquian tribes, featuring roasted corn and shelled beans (lima, kidney or fava) it was a meal making use of an abundant natural harvest. In the depression era it became a staple, particularly in the southern United States; mix a can of corn with a can of kidney beans, a touch of honey and some spice and feed the whole family.
There is something uniquely comforting about homespun peasant food done well. Many of us grew up on leftovers and kitchen staples; rice & beans, mac & cheese, potatoes done a hundred ways, and things from a can tossed together to make a meal. I love to take those comforting meals and make them my own.
Here we start with roasted corn, then we roast everything else – green pepper, green onion, broad beans, a couple of patty pan squash and a big, juicy sweet potato. For added colour and chewiness, I tossed in some dried cranberries at the end, I just can’t get enough of those little beauties at the moment.
The pork chop is the fast, simple part of the meal, soaked in apple cider vinegar, seasoned and seared, finished in the oven, then glazed with the pan drippings and a couple of cubes of pear jelly we had in the fridge. A sweet, succulent accompaniment to a little (sufferin’) sweet potato succotash. You can easily substitute pear nectar (juice) for pear jelly, just reduce until thick and sticky.
I just love fall flavours.
Sweet Potato Succotash Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 – 60 minutes
Two ears of corn, kernels cut (or one 9 once can, well drained)
1 green pepper, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 green onions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 – 8 broad beans, dut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 small patty pan squash
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cubed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of liquid honey
Preheat oven to 400*F
1) Line a cookie sheet or roasting tray, with parchment paper. Toss corn with a drizzle of olive oil (just enough to coat), salt & pepper and place, spread one layer deep on tray. Place in oven to roast until soft and golden brown, about 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from oven and scoop off hot corn into waiting bowl. Replete oil, seasoning & roasting procedure with sweet potato, cook about 15 minutes. Remove into waiting bowl with corn.
2) Toss green pepper, green onion and squash with oil, place on same tray and roast in 400* oven until soft and browning on the edges, about 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from tray hot and mix with waiting roasted vegetables. Add dried cranberries.
3) Season the mix lightly with cayenne pepper, just enough to add heat and warmth. Add liquid honey, toss gently to mix.
Reheat to serve, if needed. Sweet potato succotash keeps for days, it’s even better the day after, and it freezes well too.
Pear Glazed Pork Chop – Recipe
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes
4 thick cut pork chops
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons pear jelly (or 1/4 cup pear nectar)
oil for cooking
1) While staging roasted vegetables in and out of oven, rub apple cider vinegar over chops. Allow to stand and soak for 10 – 15 minutes at room temperature. By this time most of the vinegar will have soaked into the meat, dry the remainder with a paper towel. Season meat with salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne and rub to help it adhere to the pork.
2) In a large skillet add cooking oil to sear meat and place over medium high heat. When oil is hot enough for the meat to sizzle, add chops, searing well to brown on both sides. About 4 minutes per side.
3) Remove pan from stove top, place in waiting 400* oven for about 15 minutes; depending on the size of your chop.
4) When cooked through, remove chops from the oven. Place pan back on the stove top on medium heat and remove chops to rest. Heat removing suc (drippings in the bottom of the pan), adding a tablespoon or so of water if necessary, from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add pear jelly (or nectar) allow to melt/blend. Deduce as needed over low heat to form a sticky, thick glaze. Return chops to pan, and quickly coat with glaze until golden brown.
Gypsy note: The apple cider vinegar is a pork trick I picked up in Cuba, it’s sweetness lends a hand in browning and finishing the chops, and in an environment where refrigeration can be questionable, it helps to kill surface bacteria. Personally, I enjoy the slight tang it gives to meat.