Do you like figs? That is a hard question for me, as my path toward fig lover has been more rocky than sweet. It is a funny story that takes me from avoiding figs at all costs to using them to make these fantastic and easy Fig Glazed Pork Chops.
Midwestern gal here—and believe me, the orchards of my childhood were packed with apples and peaches—not figs. Dried figs were far too gourmet for my mom—so a Fig Newton was the only fig I had met. Then, Roxanne and I went to a professional convention many years ago—and at one of the cocktail parties, we ate a bacon-wrapped fig. We chewed and suffered through a terrible flavor and texture. Now, I understand that the dried fig was spoiled or poorly prepared or something for neither of us liked it, but when faced with awful foods at a fancy cocktail party, what does one do but grin and bear it? We laughed about it for years. The poor, under appreciated fig became our symbol for a food to avoid.
Then, I discovered that fig filled pastries and cakes were—uh —good. Really good! Who knew? Then, I saw my first fig tree in Rome a few years ago. I have now discovered fig spreads and preserves and I am totally hooked on this luscious, sweet spread! My fig phobia has turned into a fig obsession. Recipes in our new cookbooks feature fig preserves. (Fig Wonton Bites in The Big Book of Babycakes Cake Pop Maker Recipes and Bourbon Pecan Fig Hand Pies in The Big Book of Babycakes Cupcake Maker Recipes.) I keep thinking of new ways to use fig preserves—like this recipe that uses fig preserves and caramelized onions on pork chops—so easy and so very good. Even if you have ever stumbled over a fig, like I did, it is worth a try. Let me know if you love it as much as I do.
Fig Glazed Pork Chops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 bone-in center-cut pork chops, cut 1-inch thick
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup fig preserves
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Heat oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Move onions to one side of the skillet.
Add pork chops to the center of the skillet and cook 2 minutes per side or until seared and brown. Stir onions on side of the pan frequently. Season with salt and pepper. Pour brandy and soy sauce over chops and cook 1 minute. Spoon all of the onions on top of the pork. Spoon fig preserves over onions and pork.
Place skillet in oven and roast, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until meat thermometer registers about 150° F. and pork is of medium doneness.
Makes 2 generous servings.
Meat cuts such as thick pork chops are attractive meats to serve when entertaining, but are so large that they make too generous a serving for everyday meals. For family meals, cook as directed, then slice the meat into smaller portions before serving; this recipe will then make 4 servings.