Herbed Pork Chops and Soft Polenta with Sautéed Morels and Chanterelles

Recipe by Josie Ross of In Good Taste in Portland

“I am always inspired to pair local and seasonal ingredients together when making a meal. In this case, I had some excellent local pork and a handful of aromatic local morel mushrooms. I knew they would work well with each other in an earthy and comforting dish. Because the chops are so uncomplicated and the flavors speak for themselves, I paired them with another favorite of mine: polenta enriched with creamy mascarpone. Everything is simple and yet the sum is definitely greater than the parts.” — Josie Ross

Pork Chops

4 (6-ounce) boneless center-cut pork loin chops
* olive oil for sautéing


¼ cup fresh rosemary, minced
½ cup fresh thyme, minced
½ cup olive oil

Soft Polenta

1 cup coarse ground polenta
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup mascarpone
4 tablespoons Parmesan
3 tablespoons butter

1. For the marinade: In a bowl, combine the ingredients. Rub chops with the marinade. Let marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours.

2. Heat a sauté pan and pour olive oil into the pan when it is hot. Lay the chops in the pan and cook until lightly browned on the first side, about 4 minutes. Turn the chops and cook until the second side is browned and the chops are cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the chops to a platter.

3. For the soft polenta: Bring water and salt to a boil. Whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to a very low simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cheeses and butter, and season as needed with salt and pepper. Take the polenta off the heat and set aside.

4. For the sautéed mushrooms: Heat a sauté pan over a medium flame. When it is hot, add ¼ cup of olive oil. Add half the mushrooms, and sauté until they begin to brown and soften. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, heat another ¼ cup of olive oil, and add the remaining mushrooms; cook until they begin to brown and soften. Return the first batch of mushrooms to the pan, along with the shallots and minced garlic (you may need to add up to ½ cup additional oil). Keep the mushrooms and shallots moving in the pan until they are fully tender. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

5. To plate: Spoon polenta onto center of each plate. Rest a pork chop on top of the polenta, and top with sautéed mushrooms. Yields 4 servings.

Wine Suggestion:
2007 Raptor Ridge Pinot Noir, Shea Vineyard

In Good Taste

In Good Taste is the ultimate foodie’s cooking school, with two locations in the Portland area: Pearl District and Lake Oswego. Besides in-depth cooking classes with Chef Josie Ross or featured guest chefs, Owner Barbara Dawson provides everything you need to entertain in style: gourmet cookware, imported specialty foods, cookbooks and a selection of Pacific Northwest wine.

In Good Taste is located at 231 N.W. 11th Ave., Portland and 6302 S.W. Meadows Road, Lake Oswego. For more information, please call the Portland store at 503-248-2015 or visit

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