The Man and I were discussing our recent food habits while we were out on our road trip, and we both felt like we'd been stuck in a bit of a rut. As devout beef eaters, it almost seemed blasphemous, but we were getting tired of the same old steak every night. I knew I needed to get back into cooking most nights - both from a cost and nutrition standpoint. I turned to some recipes I had collected, and realized I had most of the ingredients to adapt a recipe I had tried about a year ago from Epicurious.com - a pork tenderloin with a chili-maple sauce.
The maple comes from pure maple syrup - the ingredient in this recipe that many post-ops would probably believe they can't consume. The key here is in the amount - for two servings, honestly with a bit of sauce left over, only 1.5 tablespoons are used. Yes, that puts some sugar grams into the recipe, but as you'll see from the nutritional information at the end, it's still under 10 grams sugars per serving - assuming you licked your plate clean. The fat content is a tad high - less oil can be used in cooking the pork as desired to reduce it.
Please do not be tempted to substitute "sugar-free" syrup, or artificial syrup (sorry, Aunt Jemima). Those products won't emulsify in the glaze like true maple syrup. It's worth the minor investment for a small bottle.
When I made the recipe the first time as written on Epicurious, we both found it overwhelmingly spicy, so I knew it would need some modification. It also called for 12 oz of pork tenderloin, which for the two of us was way too much. I did have some center cut loin chops in the freezer, so I choose to use those. The recipe follows as modified.
I still only consume about 2 oz of meat per meal, so my intake was 1/2 serving - half of the nutritional information that follows the recipe. Photo shows approximately 6oz pork, the Man's serving compared to my 2oz serving.
Pork Cutlets with Maple-Chili Glaze
- 2 center cut boneless pork loin chops approximately 4 oz each
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup (grade A light or dark amber)
- 1.5 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
- salt and pepper
Sprinkle each side of the pork with the 5 spice powder, salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a small skillet until it begins to shimmer. Cook pork approximately 3 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.
Deglaze pan with chicken broth, then add chili-garlic sauce and maple syrup. Boil over medium high heat until reduced to 1/3 volume - sauce will take on a slightly glossy appearance and be tacky to the touch.
Pour glaze over pork to serve.
Nutritional information (based on the recipe builder at MyFoodDiary.com): 1 serving = 1/2 recipe. Calories: 289, total fat: 19g, saturated fat: 6g, carbohydrates: 11.3g, sugars 9.3g, protein 21.1g