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PORK CHOPS WITH WILD MUSHROOM CREAM SAUCE
by Bob Hosh

This is a recipe I devised when edible summer “Milky” mushrooms (Lactarius species) are in season. My mushroom of choice for this dish is Lactarius hygrophorides, but Oyster or Shiitake mushrooms work well also.

Ingredients:

For braising the chops:

  • 4 or 5 pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (canola or grape seed preferred)
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup low salt, low fat chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the mushroom sauce:

  • 8 ounces wild mushrooms (Lactarius, Oyster, or Shiitake)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
Method:
Rinse and pat dry the pork chops. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet with a tight fitting lid to medium high heat and add the chops, browning them on both sides; about 8 minutes. Remove browned chops from skillet and set aside. Add the chopped shallots to the pan and sauté them until translucent, do not brown them. Add the white wine and chicken broth scrapping up and fond on the bottom of the skillet. Add the thyme and marjoram and bring to a boil. Return the chops to the pan and lower heat to a simmer. Cook covered for about 45 minutes or until the chops are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms. If using Shiitake mushrooms, use only fresh and cut off and discard the stems. Slice the caps into 1/4-inch wide strips. Slice Oyster or Lactarius mushroom caps into 1/4-inch wide strips. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet and when the foam subsides, add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms on medium high heat for about 6-8 minutes or until done. Set aside.

To complete the sauce, remove the pork chops to a platter and cover with foil to keep them warm. Add the reserved mushrooms to the juices in the skillet; if more than a cup, boil the contents until the liquid equals about 1/2 cup. Add the heavy cream and simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. If not serving immediately, return the chops to the skillet and keep contents warm.

Serve the pork chops with the sauce spooned over them.

I like to serve this dish with boiled potatoes or brown or red rice. In the accompanying photo I used fresh Shiitake mushrooms in the sauce and served the chops with parsley buttered “Russian Banana” fingerling potatoes. The vegetable is yellow summer squash sautéed in butter with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
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