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Fiery Maple-Brined Pork Chops and Grilled Maui Onions with Oven-Roasted Apple

Yield: 6 servings.

6 Smithfield Porterhouse Pork Chops, 16 to 18-oz. each
2 qts. water
1 cup kosher salt
11/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups Vermont maple syrup
8 charred fresh serrano peppers
6 whole stems of fresh rosemary
6 whole stems of fresh thyme
4 oz. sliced and peeled fresh gingerroot
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, with stems
4 bay leaves (fresh if available)
2 whole fresh garlic bulbs, crushed
8 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
2 Tbsp. dried coriander seeds, whole
as needed, grilled Maui or Vidalia onions

Heat water in medium saucepot with salt and sugar to boil and remove from heat, allowing to cool. Roast peppers over open fire on stove to char skin. Cut lengthwise, removing seeds; add to cooling liquid. With the back of a knife or large heavy pot, crush garlic with skins on and add to liquid. Add all remaining ingredients. Brine meat for at least 8-12 hours.

To cook, remove pork chops from brine, pat dry, then lightly oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook over medium-hot grill, until pork reaches desired doneness. Medium rare is recommended: internal temperature of 145°F.

Serve with grilled Maui onions or Vidalia onions, sliced thick and grilled until soft.

4 Gala or semi-sweet apples
1/2 cup sour dried cherries
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. whole cloves
1/8 tsp. ground fresh nutmeg
4 Tbsp. sweet butter
4 oz. red onion, diced
2 oz. fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh ripe mango

Peel apples and sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice. Place on sheet tray with foil coated with non-stick cooking spray into oven that has been preheated to 350°F. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until semi-soft (not mushy). Times vary for different types of apples. Do not over-cook. Apples will appear to be caramelized. Remove from oven and reserve.

In nonreactive sauce pan, add remaining ingredients, except onions and mango, and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for an additional 15 minutes at low heat, stirring often. Add onions and mango to hot mixture when cooking is completed. Remove from heat and allow to cool before refrigerating. Chutney is best prepared a day in advance to achieve fullest flavor.