Pork Chops with Apple and Leek Puree

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Serves 6
Modified from the Olives Table by Todd English

2c water
1/2c honey
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2T black pepper corns

Apple and Leek Puree
1T olive oil
1 leek, well washed and chopped
3 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2T honey
juice of 1 lemon
1/4t ground coriander
1 cinnamon stick (1 1/2 inches)

3T black peppercorns
1 1/2T fennel seeds
6 double thick rib eye pork chops
2T olive oil
1T chopped rosemary (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients for brine with pork chops and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Adds moisture and flavor to the chops.
2. Heat oil in a pan and saute all the ingredients for apple and leek puree. When the apples and leeks have softened, remove from heat and puree mixture.
3. Preheat oven to 425.
4. Crush peppercorns and fennel seeds in spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
5. Remove from brine and pat chops dry. Coat sides of chops with pepper and fennel seed mixture.
6. Brown pork chops in saute pan. 3 minutes per side.
7. Transfer to pan and bake for 12-15 minutes until chops are firm to touch.
8. Reheat apple leek puree if necessary and plate. Sprinkle with salt and chopped rosemary (if desired).

I skip the rosemary if serving this with the Fig Polenta.

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