Friday, December 26, 2014

Pork sandwich with onion marmalade, blue cheese spread, and avocado

I'm sitting on the couch in a robe. It snowed 10 inches overnight. I'm wondering how long I can delay going to work. If I do go to work, I'm wondering if at the very least I can wear the robe. I'm calling this the holiday hangover. Not in the I consumed one too many glasses of wine sense but in the sense that I spent the last few days eating cookies and relaxing on the couch and eating more cookies. My body needs time to adapt. Alas all good things must come to end. 

The other thing I want is a relatively easy meal. I have cooked a lot this holiday season. This sandwich is a beauty. The blue cheese spread is cream cheese and blue cheese whipped together. Nothing wrong with that. So simple. So delicious. That richness with the brightness of the red onion marmalade is a beautiful thing. I would eat this sandwich again and again. 

Pork sandwich with onion marmalade, blue cheese spread, and avocado
Serves 4, blue cheese spread adapted from Not Without Salt 

1 pound boneless pork chops
3 cups water
1/4 cup salt
1 bay leaf 
1 teaspoon peppercorns (optional)
3/4 cup blue cheese, softened 
3 ounces cream cheese, softened 
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 avocado, sliced
Arugula for serving 
1 large baguette, cut in quarters and each quarter sliced lengthwise  in half

Red onion marmalade 
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
2 red onions thinly sliced
1 garlic clove minced
1/3  cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry fruity red wine (I used a Bordeaux, zinfandel would work great as well)

In a large bowl or tupperware, mix water, salt, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Add pork to the brine (water/salt solution) and let brine for 30 minutes. 

While pork is brining, mix together blue cheese and cream cheese with a spatula. Set aside.

Now prepare your red onion marmalade. In a saute pan over medium-high heat, heat oil and butter until butter has melted. Add onion, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper and stir. Reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally, until onions have softened, about 15 minutes. Add vinegar and wine and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about ten minutes. Remove from heat. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, paprika, mustard powder, and brown sugar. Remove pork chops from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the pork chops with the spice rub you just made on both sides. 

In a medium oven safe saute pan over high heat, brown the pork on both sides, 5-6 minutes a side. Put the pan in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes until the pork is just cooked through. Let pork rest for 5 minutes. Slice lengthwise into 1/2" strips. 

Assemble your sandwich. Spread a generous layer of blue cheese bread on one side of the baguette. Layer pork, avocado, onion marmalade, and arugula on the baguette and enjoy!

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