Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Pineapple

Pineapples, which are currently in season (although you can usually find them in supermarkets year-round), are a great way to add sweetness and nutrition to meals and snacks.  Pineapples are a good source of fiber and an excellent source of Vitamin C.  They’re also a natural source of bromelain, an enzyme that helps with the digestion of protein.  Their intensely sweet taste makes them a great way to flavor desserts without the use of added sugars.  Although they’re sweet, and a fruit, pineapples are also great added to savory dishes for an unexpected flavor twist.

Thyme, Pork Chop, and Pineapple Skillet Supper

Ingredients
3 tablespoons pineapple or apricot preserves or jam or orange marmalade
3 tablespoons orange juice, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons stone-ground or Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon curry powder
4 fresh or canned pineapple rings (½-inch thick), cut in half, any juice reserved
2 teaspoons butter
4, 4- to 5-ounce boneless pork loin chops (½-inch thick), trimmed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

Instructions

  1. If the preserves are chunky, chop any large pieces. Combine preserves (or jam or marmalade), 3 tablespoons orange juice, mustard, ginger, and curry powder in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Pour pineapple juice into a measuring cup; if necessary, add enough orange juice to equal ⅓ cup total. Set aside.
  3. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops, sprinkle with ½ tablespoon thyme and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Immediately turn them over and sprinkle with another ½ tablespoon thyme and the remaining pepper.
  4. Cook the chops, turning occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add the reserved juice to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the chops are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
  6. Add pineapple, the reserved sauce and the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme to the pan. Cook, stirring, until hot and bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes. To serve, spoon the sauce onto the chops and pineapple.

 

Recipe from Eating Well, July/August 2011 

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