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Spiced Pork Chops over Butternut Squash Purée

I had really been looking forward to trying this recipe, particularly the purée — it's one of my favorite flavor combinations, as evidenced by the number of times I ate Trader Joe's butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter sauce last fall. 

I was actually worried I was anticipating this meal TOO much — that it couldn't possibly live up to my expectations. And I was partially right. The pork was just okay. Maybe I overcooked it, but I didn't taste the spice mixture on the pork. 

The squash, however, was just as tasty as I thought it would be. The Mister was expecting it to be sweet, due to the honey, but it wasn't. It was more of a deep, rich flavor. 

Spiced Pork Chops over Butternut Squash Purée with Honey Sage Browned Butter
From Recipes by Cooking Light and Food52.com

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-lb.) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed into 1" pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about ¾ inch thick)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ⅛ tsp ground allspice
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a large cooking sheet, combine butternut squash, oil and 1 teaspoon salt.
  3. Roast the butternut squash for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from oven.
  4. While the squash is roasting, combine cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg in a dish and stir to distribute evenly. 
  5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle pork evenly with spice mixture, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Add pork to pan; sauté 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.
  6. Push the squash pieces through a ricer into a large bowl (or purée in a food processor). Stir in milk and cream and set aside.
  7. In a shallow pan on the stovetop, melt the butter over medium heat. Once it starts foaming, skim the foam.
  8. Raise heat to medium high then drop the sage leaves in in batches, submerging them in the butter for 5 to 10 seconds until they become crisp, but before they turn brown. Remove them one by one as they finish and set aside. Repeat with all remaining sage leaves.
  9. Once you've fried all the sage leaves, remove pan from heat. Stir in the honey and then pour the butter mixture over the squash. Top with the fried sage leaves and serve.

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