Cherries have always had a special place in my heart. During my childhood days, every sugary treat was always cherry. Dum Dums, Runts, Cherry Gummies from the candy shop, sign me up! Then, the real treat was Shirley Temples . Speaking of…did you hear Shirley Temple passed away on Monday evening? A small piece of me died on the inside. She was always a joy to watch! Back to the delicious cherry goodness…my favorite was when the server poured a heavy hand of cherry syrup. My childhood equivalent to a heavy pour of wine. Don’t judge.
While lately I wouldn’t pass up a Shirley Temple, I am more fond of snacking on fresh cherries rather than overdosing on cherry Dum Dum’s. But don’t put it past me to sneak a lollipop from the bank. No shame that they are for the children…
Cherries taste like nature’s candy yet hold so many nutritional benefits. They combat post-workout soreness; blend them with vanilla almond milk, vanilla protein powder, dash of cocoa powder and you have one healthy ‘milkshake’! They also help reduce stroke risks; provide natural osteoarthritis relief by lowering inflammation markers; reduce belly fat and help you get some shut eye! I am all for the last two!
Before I dive into our dish, don’t forget the appetizer of Chorizo Stuffed Prosciutto Wrapped Dates from Monday, to start the evening off on a sweet and spicy note. They are insanely addicting!
As I pondered on what to present to all my imaginary friends for our main course for Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t get cherries out of my mind. They are such a gorgeous red…probably similar to the flowers all you lucky ladies may be receiving Friday?!
One of my favorite pairings incorporate salty, sweet and savory. Pork is the perfect starter when it is paired with sage. Then cherries are simmered with balsamic vinegar and a touch of sweetness. If you have never had balsamic with fruit, you must get on this train! The acidity in the vinegar marries perfectly with the sweetness in the fruit. After a short simmer, the reduction intensifies and a gorgeous, deep red glaze is made. This dish will surely make your hunny be so thankful that they have by their side on this special holiday!
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried sage
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 4 boneless center cut pork chops
- 12 oz frozen cherries, pitted
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 8 drops Stevia, or 1 Tbsp honey
- Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sage and pepper in a large gallon size zip lock bag. Add pork chops and marinate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Turn broiler on low. Add pork chops to cast iron skillet or large baking sheet; ensuring they are spaced evenly apart and not touching. Broil on low for 10 minutes per side, if large pork chops, 7-8 minutes if smaller.
- Meanwhile, in small sauce pan, add cherries, balsamic vinegar, water, and stevia and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until sauce reduces until almost all the liquid has been reduced.
- To serve, add cherry balsamic glaze atop of pork chops.