juicy pork chops with a white wine grape sauce and creamy polenta
Heat a large saucepot over medium heat. Add a very small amount of oil. Add the shallots and let sauté for a minute or so until tender. Add the grapes. Saute for about 5 minutes to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Let reduce until the liquid is syrupy. Stir in the cream and fresh thyme sprigs. Let reduce even more until the sauce comes together, about 5 minutes. On low heat, whisk in the butter until it is fully emulsified. Season with salt to taste and keep warm until serving.
Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with safflower oil. Toss in the mushrooms. Cook until caramelized and tender, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic, kale, and fresh thyme. Allow the kale to wilt (add a splash of water if needed). Add the lemon juice and butter. Let the butter melt and stir to coat the vegetables. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Keep warm until serving.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add the milk, fresh thyme, and honey. Bring the liquid to a boil. Carefully whisk in the cornmeal and lower the heat. Cook the cornmeal until it is tender over low heat, whisking often. Once tender, stir in the butter and grated pecorino. Season with salt to taste. Keep warm until serving.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season each side of the pork chops with a generous amount of salt and pepper. In a cast-iron skillet (or sauté pan), heat enough oil over medium heat to coat the bottom. When the oil is sizzling hot, place the pork chops in the skillet (you may need to work in batches). Sear them for about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the pork chops reach just under your desired doneness. Transfer the skillet back to the stove and add the butter and garlic cloves. Use a spoon to baste the pork chops. Remove the pork chops from the pan and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.
Serve the pork chops over a big mound of polenta. Spoon the mushrooms, kale, and white wine grape sauce over top.