Honey Sriracha Pork Chops

Sweet. Spicy. Savory. Are there better flavor combinations than that?

And when something so flavorful comes together so easily, that’s even better. The sweet and spicy sauce comes together in the few minutes that the chops are searing, let it simmer all together for a bit, and dinner is practically done!

The pork loin is juicy and tender from simmering in the honey Sriracha sauce and is perfect served over rice, broccoli or brussel sprouts.

Ingredients (serves 4):
4 pork loin chops
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
2 tbsp. Sriracha
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional, for extra heat!)
1 ½ tbsp. corn starch

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sear pork chops for 3-4 minutes per side and remove from pan. Sauté garlic in pan drippings for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, water, Sriracha and crushed red pepper (if using). Return pork chops to pan and pour sauce mixture over pork chops. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, turning pork chops halfway. In a small bowl, whisk corn starch with 1-2 tbsp. water to make a slurry. Remove pork chops from pan and slowly stir slurry into sauce to thicken. Return to a simmer for 2-3 minutes until sauce is thick. Spoon glaze over pork chops. Enjoy!

Wine Pairings:
Montgo Monastrell 2012

Mustiguillo Mestizaje Bobal 2014

Mustiguillo Mestizaje Bobal 2014
Spain – El Terrerazo
13.5% ABV
$10.49
My Rating: 89 points
Costco

Without question, Costco was the store that started my love affair with Spanish wines. There are regularly new ones in stock for around $10, and upon trying them, there is a good chance that I would stock up on several. Mustiguillo Mestizaje is a red blend; primarily Bobal with 10% Syrah, 6% Garnacha, 5% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. Each grape is aged for one year in oak barrels before blending, which adds to the smoothness and drinkability of the wine. Spanish wines tend to have lots of acid, but this one is balanced nicely. For about $10, I’m going to pick up more of this one to drink on its own or with a casual meal.

Medium ruby, wild cherry, blackberry, with a bit of oak on the dusty finish.

Pair with: medium to firm cheese, grilled meats, tomato based rice or pasta dishes, paella

From the winemaker:
“Deep in color with an intriguing nose of black fruits, violets, cedar and black pepper. The fleshy dark fruit flavors of blackberry and black currant are lifted by brink mineral acidity (this is where those limestone soils come through) and fine tannins. Leaves you on a nice sweet and spicy finish, a perfect pair with anything cooked over fire and smoke.”

Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
California – Mendocino County
14.5% ABV
$14.89
My Rating: 90 points
Costco

I am a big believer that wine does not have to be expensive to be good, but if there is one varietal I have a hard time finding an inexpensive pick that I really enjoy, it’s Cabernet Sauvignon. I simply cannot have a big juicy ribeye without a good cab. Every once in a while, I’ll splurge on a more expensive bottle, but for under $15, True Grit really delivers that big, tannic California cab that pair so well with the buttery umami of a ribeye. I will be picking up a few bottles to enjoy over the next couple of years to enjoy for a good occasion at home. I wouldn’t pair this bold, juicy cab with anything other than a big steak.

Deep ruby, tobacco, cedar, drying tannins. Long dusty finish.

Pair with: grilled ribeye

Recipe pairings:
Perfectly Seared Steakhouse Steaks

From the winemaker:
“Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of red wines; pitiless and double tough, you will long to pull this cork. Rich, full-bodied, with signature elements of earth and tobacco, it’s a bit uncivilized. We have been making Cabernet Sauvignon for generations. This one is special.
The immigrant farmers who planted grapevines here in the 1800s arrived full of hope and optimism. Their special piece of heaven on earth lay just over the next ridge, in Mendocino County. Their vineyards, their determinations, patience and vision… their True Grit.”

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Who wants cookies for breakfast? I do, I do!

My husband loves this certain brand of cookie called “Healthy Bites” that look like little oatmeal cookies. He eats them crumbled up on just about everything; ice cream, yogurt, etc. At about $6 for 12 small cookies, they are also pretty expensive! These Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies are budget friendly and totally customizable. I made them with raisins and pecans, so they tasted like a mix of banana bread and oatmeal cookies.  They would also be great with chocolate chips, dried cranberries, walnuts… totally up to you! Since they are dairy-free, flour-free and no added sugar, they are 100% perfect to have with breakfast.

 

Ingredients (Makes 12 cookies):
2 very ripe bananas (lots of brown spots, like the ones used for banana bread)
1 cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup raisins
¼ chopped pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas with fork until smooth. Fold in oats, raisins, pecans and cinnamon until evenly distributed. Spoon into 12 equal sized cookies on a cookie sheet and bake 12 minutes. Let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes to set before transferring onto cooling rack. Enjoy!

La Encina Centenaria Monastrell 2014

La Encina Centenaria Monastrell 2014
Spain – Alicante
14.5% ABV
$6.99
My Rating: 87 points
Costco

Move over Zinfandel, because Monastrell is the new go-to for pork dishes. At least in my house it is. Monastrell (known as Mouvedre in France) is big, ripe and fruity like Zinfandel, but has a little less sweetness and a little more spice, which makes it perfect for pairing with pork. Monastrell also tends to be fairly budget friendly; I am particularly fond of Montgo Monastrell 2012 for $8.99 at Costco, but La Encina is even more budget friendly at just $6.99.

Deep ruby color, lots of fruit, primarily plum. Balsamic vinegar and mild/medium tannin.

Pair with: Pork, beef, game (venison and duck would both pair well), lamb

Recipe Pairings:
Chicken Fried Pork Chops with Sausage Gravy

From the winemaker:
“Deep cherry-red colour with purple edges. Aromas of red and black berries and plums and hints of balsamic vinegar, prunes and herbs. In taste, it is the rich fruit that really stand out, in perfect harmony with the slightly spicy notes. The structure is soft and silky and ripe tannins and a balanced acidity completes the experience. The big ripe fruit taste lingers long in the aftertaste.”