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Recipe of the week: The restaurant is forgotten, but the recipe lives on

Chef Matthew Kenney's Manhattan restaurants are now closed, but his dishes live on in his cookbook, <em>Big City Cooking</em>.

Some restaurants achieve a momentary fame, and then vanish from the limelight, said Sam Sifton in The New York Times. Yet, through a cookbook, their dishes can live on virtually forever in “the home-cooking hall of fame.”

This pork chop recipe was created in the ’90s by chef Matthew Kenney, who can no longer remember which of his several Manhattan restaurants it was served at—Matthew’s, maybe, or ­perhaps Bar Anise. “They are all gone now.” Yet the recipe lives on in his cookbook, Big City Cooking (Chronicle Books). He serves it alongside his polenta with goat cheese and rosemary, and recommends pairing it with a red wine, slightly chilled.

Recipes of the week
Restaurant-Style Pork Chops

¾ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup pecans
4 (1¼-inch thick) pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 green apples, cored
¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger

Preheat broiler or light charcoal grill. In small, nonreactive bowl, whisk together syrup, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon. Place small pan over medium heat; add pecans and about 2 tbsp maple-syrup sauce; cook for a few minutes until nuts are glazed. Transfer to plate; spread out to cool. Transfer cooled nuts to cutting board; chop roughly. Set aside.

Season pork chops aggressively with salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil. When broiler is hot, or coals are covered with gray ash and you can hold your hand 5 inches above them for only 1 to 2 seconds, broil or grill meat approximately 7 minutes per side. Brush with some of remaining maple glaze every 2 or 3 minutes, turning them frequently to prevent sugar from burning. When chops are cooked, remove from broiler or grill; let rest 5 minutes before serving. Slice cored apples into thick rounds; drizzle with olive oil; season lightly with salt and pepper; place on broiler pan or grill until tender when pierced with fork. These, too, should be brushed with maple glaze and turned frequently. Serve with apple slices sprinkled with pecans and candied ginger. Serves 4.

Polenta With Goat Cheese and Rosemary
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, plus more as needed
2 cups polenta
6 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
2 tbsp butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring stock to boil in large, heavy saucepan over high heat. Whisk in polenta in steady stream, then decrease heat to medium. Cook, stirring with wooden spoon, more constantly than you would think possible, until polenta begins to thicken, approximately 10 minutes.

Add cheese and rosemary; stir approximately 2 minutes. Stir in butter; season with salt and pepper to taste; serve. If cooking before chops are done, remove from heat at a thinner consistency, or add more stock later. Serves 4 to 6.

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