In the Kitchen: Apricot-glazed Pork Chops with Toasted Almonds

This recipe, using Bella Viva Orchards California Tangy Apricots and Raw Almonds, will make you want to get outdoors and fire up that grill! You’ll want to keep an extra bag or two of our Almonds and Apricots on hand for enjoyment when you’re spending time inside or on the go. Bring on the sunshine and bring on the happy flavors!

Yields: 6 servings

Prep time: 2 to 4 hours
Cook time: about 30 minutes
Total Time: up to 4 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For brine:
8 cups water
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup granulated sugar

For glaze*:
½ cup Bella Viva Orchards California Tangy Apricots
¾ cup water
1 large garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more, if desired)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ fresh lemon

For Almonds:
1 cup Bella Viva Orchards Raw Natural Almonds
A drizzle of canola oil or olive oil, optional
A sprinkling of kosher salt, optional

For Pork:
6 thick cut bone-in pork chops
A pinch of kosher salt

Instructions:

Prepare the brine: Combine brine ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until sugar granules have dissolved. Cool mixture to room temperature. Place pork chops in a large zip-top bag and add cooled brine. Seal and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours, turning bag over about halfway through brining process to ensure complete distribution of liquid around meat.

Prepare the Almonds: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the Raw Natural Almonds under cold running water. Drain and place in a single layer on a baking pan. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until you can smell them. Allow the Almonds cool, then roughly chop them. Set chopped, cooled Nuts aside.

Make the glaze: Chop the Apricots into small pieces. Place in a small saucepan and add the water, minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing the mixture with the back of your spoon, adding more water if needed to reach a jam-like consistency. Do not allow to burn. Remove from heat, stir in soy sauce, Dijon mustard and fresh lemon juice. Cover and set aside.

Grill the pork chops: Heat your grill for direct cooking. Remove the pork chops from the brine and place directly onto the hot part of the grill. Discard used brine. Sprinkle chops with a touch of extra kosher salt. Cook about 5 minutes or until the bottom has developed color. Flip the chops, brush with glaze, and continue cooking, flipping and glazing every 4 minutes until the internal temperature has reached 145 degrees F. 

Remove cooked pork chops from the grill, brush with glaze one more time, and sprinkle with chopped toasted Almonds. Your taste buds are in for a sunshiny treat!

*Any leftover glaze will last a week stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

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