Moroccan Spiced Pork Loin with Apricots and Chickpeas

  • Yield 4 servings

This dish celebrates the sweetly spiced seasonings of Morocco, which pairs so beautifully with fruit and chickpeas. Serve with 1/2 cup steamed couscous.

Ingredients

4 -- boneless pork loin chops
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed through a press
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup vegetable or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can chickpeas, preferably organic, rinsed and drained
1/2 -- red bell pepper, sliced
1 pound fresh apricots, peeled, quartered, and pitted or 1 can apricot halves in light syrup, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cornstarch
-- parsley, for garnish

Instructions

Trim any outer fat from the pork so it is as lean as possible.  In a small bowl, combine the salt, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, and garlic.  Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil to make a dry paste.  Rub this over both sides of the pork chops and set aside at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F in a flameproof baking dish or ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the pork chops and brown over moderately high heat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.  Remove meat to a plate.

Add 3/4 cup of the stock to the dish and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.  Add the chickpeas, red pepper, and one-third of the apricots.  Set the pork chops on top.  Arrange the remaining apricots on top of the meat.  Cover the dish and set in the oven.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chops registers 145F to 150F.  Remove the meat to a plate.

Stir the honey into the juices and bring to a boil.  Blend the cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup stock.  Stir into the hot juices and boil, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens and clears.  Spoon the chickpeas, red peppers, apricots, and sauce over the chops and serve garnished with parsley.

Reprinted with permission from The Acid Reflux Solution: A Cookbook and Lifestyle Guide for Healing Heartburn Naturally. Copyright © 2012 by Dr. Jorge E. Rodriguez. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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