Grilled Pork Chops with Moroccan Tomato Jam
Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco,
Paula Wolfert has recipes for two tagines in which lamb or chicken is
simmered with tomatoes and cinnamon. After the meat is cooked, it is
removed from the pot, and the tomatoes are cooked down until they are very
thick. At the end honey or sugar is added to make a luscious sweet tomato
jam in which the meats are reheated.
Inspired by these recipes, we made the sweet tomato-cinnamon jam separately
and served it on top of grilled pork chops. Really, the pork chops are just
an excuse for the jam. It is also incredible with grilled or broiled
chicken, salmon, shrimp, and lamb chops.
Consider adding cinnamon to any tomato sauce, homemade or otherwise. It
adds a sultry warmth to the sauce, creating subtle layers of unexpected
Ingredients for the
(Makes about one cup of jam)
pounds plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup grated onion
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 4-inch stick Indonesian cassia
Salt and finely ground white pepper, to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons honey
Ground cassia (optional)
1. With a sharp
paring knife, score the bottom of each tomato with an “X.” Bring a
medium pot of water to boil. Drop 4 or 5 tomatoes at time into the
boiling water for 12 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or wire-mesh
strainer. Slip the skins off the tomatoes and core them. Cut in half
and squeeze out the juice and seeds. Place in a bowl and set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the
onion and fry until it is soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add
the garlic, ginger and cinnamon stick and fry for 2 minutes longer.
3. Add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices in the bottom of the
bowl. Stir well and raise the heat to medium high, until the mixture is
gently bubbling. Cook until the tomatoes have reduced to a thick puree
and most of the juice as evaporated, about 1 hour. Watch carefully.
Stir and adjust the heat as needed to keep the tomato mixture from
4. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Add 3 tablespoons of honey.
Lower the heat to medium low and continue to cook gently for another 20
to 30 minutes, until the jam is very thick and all the liquid has been
absorbed. Remove the cinnamon stick. Taste and correct seasonings,
adding the remaining tablespoon of honey and a pinch of powdered
cinnamon if desired.
Ingredients for the
4 pork loin chops
Salt and pepper to taste
Method for the pork
1. Rub the pork
chops with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Heat charcoal in a grill until the flames are low and the coals are
covered with white ash.
3. Place the pork chops on the grill and cook, covered, for 3 to 4
minutes per side.
4. Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes, loosely covered with
5. Serve each pork chop with a generous spoonful of tomato jam.
to Spice Kitchen]