Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Sauce and Butternut Squash Purée

For this recipe always use the best-quality corn-fed pork available, counseled Alan Hooker, founder of the Ranch House Restaurant in Ojai Valley, California.

Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Sauce and Butternut Squash Purée Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Sauce and Butternut Squash Purée
This is a hearty, rich dish and perfect for those chilly fall nights.
Yield: serves 4

For the Purée

  • 1 (2-lb.) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 (2″) piece fresh ginger, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. herb salt
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sliced almonds

For the Pork Chops and Sauce

  • 8 (8-oz.) loin pork chops, 1″ thick, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 cup vermouth
  • 1 34 cups heavy cream
  • 3 oz. Danish blue cheese, crumbled
  • Freshly ground white pepper

Instructions

  1. For the purée: Put squash and ginger in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook until soft, 30–35 minutes. Remove and discard ginger. Drain squash and mash to a coarse purée. Stir in butter, herb salt, and brown sugar. Cover and keep warm.
  2. For the sauce: Bring vermouth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Add cream and return to a boil. Reduce sauce by one-third, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in cheese, and season with pepper. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Place an oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush chops with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill until just cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. To serve, divide sauce among four plates. Put chops on top of sauce. Serve with a dollop of squash on the side, sprinkled with almonds.