It's always fun to figure out what to do with any leftover champagne, sparkline wine or prosecco during the days after the New Year. We had a terrific party but three half-consumed bottles of champagne left in our fridge. What a tragedy! After making mimosas and little cocktails where the flatness didn't matter so much, I still couldn't pour the little bit of deliciousness down the drain. So, of course, I improvised. And, to great result created an excellent sauce for a grilled pork loin.
Here's the recipe for my "Grilled Pork Loin with Champagne, Ginger and Date Glaze"
2 pork loin chops boneless, about 6-8 oz. each
1/2 ripe Bosc pear, finely diced
4 Deglet dates, pitted and chopped
1 T. unsalted butter
For the marinade:
1/4 c. champgagne or good sparkline wine
1/2 c. apple juice
1 T. fresh lime juice, squeezed
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. sour cherry preserve
pinch of ground cloves
1. Trim any extra fat from the edges of the pork so it's as lean as possible. Mix all the ingredients listed under the marinade together in a bowl and whisk to incorporate the flavors well. Drizzle half the marinade over the pork loin chops in a zip lock plastic bag and seal. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes to marinate all sides. Reserve the other half of the marinade.
2. Put the reserved marinade in a sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil. Turn flame to low and let the sauce simmer very gently, reducing to concentrate flavors by at least half or more.
3. Heat a heavy cast-iron skillet or grill pan and when hot, remove the pork loin chops from the refrigerator and lay on the sizzling grill. Grill the pork through, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove the pork from the grill when cooked to light pink and at least 160˚F internally. Set aside to rest.
4. Add the chopped pear and dates to the sauce and stir to incorporate. Swirl in the butter without using a utensil, until the sauce is shiny and thick. Remove sauce from heat.
5. Put the pork loin chops on a plate. Spoon the glaze over the pork, garnish and serve immediately.