The Literate Chef

Pork Chops with Hot and Sweet Peppers

In General Articles on February 27, 2014 at 11:44 AM

The Literate Chef:

We made this last night to serve to new friends, but working in a kitchen that is not ours, we did not have access to our usual utensils. Accordingly, we adapted the recipe for a non-stick skillet and prepared the bulk of the dish in advance. These updates are noted in Notes 1 & 2. Flexibility is key to any recipe.

Originally posted on The Literate Chef:

Quick, easy and delicious!

Quick, easy and delicious!


•    6 boneless center cut pork chops, about ¾ inch thick, approximately  2.75 – 3 lbs total
•    Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
•    3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
•    7 cloves of garlic, sliced
•    2 cups of dry white wine
•    1/3 cup of sliced hot cherry peppers, stems removed
•    2 large (35 oz.) jars of fire-roasted sweet peppers, about 4 cups sliced
•    ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar


1.    Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides.
2.    In a heavy stainless steel or cast iron skillet that has a cover, heat the olive oil on medium/high. (note 1)
3.    Add the garlic and stir for 2 -3 minutes, do not let it brown.
4.    Raise the heat to high and add the pork chops, brown for 5 minutes…

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Spaghetti con Vongole & Chorizo

In Pasta, Pork, Recipes, Seafood on February 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Spaghetti con Vongole & Chorizo

Spaghetti con Vongole & Chorizo

A few nights ago, Betty made a big platter of her famous Paella Isabella. It served 5 for dinner very nicely. However, not all of the clams and chorizo that we had bought wound up in the paella, which got me thinking about what to do with them the next day.

Having a vague recollection of a pasta dish with clams and pancetta, and thinking about dishes where seafood and pork combine nicely, I decided to experiment with these leftovers. A light tomato sauce, almost a Marechiaro, seemed to be the right approach. Rather than parsley, Betty suggested a little cilantro to finish the dish. It was the right thing to do, and the result was sublime.

(Serves 2, preparation time, 30 minutes)


¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
7 cloves of garlic, minced
2 dozen Littleneck Clams, scrubbed and rinsed
¼ lb. Chorizo, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 cup of dry white wine
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut-up
½ lb. spaghetti
Chopped cilantro, about 3 tablespoons


1. Boil a large pot of water for the spaghetti.
2. Heat olive oil in a separate pot, about 5 qt. sized.
3. Add the garlic to the oil, and sauté lightly; do not let it burn.
4. Add the wine and bring to a boil.
5. Add the clams and cover the pot.
6. After about 2 or 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and chorizo.
7. When clams begin to steam open, add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook according to directions.
8. Once most of the clams have opened, to avoid over-cooking them, remove them to a bowl while the sauce continues to boil and thicken, and until the spaghetti is done.
9. When the spaghetti is al dente to the taste, drain it and add it to the sauce.
10. Transfer the spaghetti and sauce to a large serving bowl, add the clams and garnish with cilantro.
11. Serve immediately.
12. Feel free to add grated pecorino-romano cheese, if so desired.


Guinness Braised Boneless Short Ribs

In Beef, Meat, Recipes, Stews on February 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Guinness Braised Short Ri

Guinness Braised Boneless Short Ribs

(Active Preparation Time – 1 hour, Marinate Overnight, Cooking Time- 3 hours; Serves 4 to 6)

Recently, we invited  my good friend John, and his brother Pat and sister-in-law Kathleen who were visiting the U.S. from Grange, County Sligo, to dinner.  Pat & Kathleen had hosted us several times on our trips to Ireland and this was a perfect time to reciprocate their hospitality.  In their honor, we prepared these short ribs, in a manner appropriate for the occasion. Happily it was enjoyed by all. The Guinness imparted an earthy flavor to the meaty ribs, and the gravy from the marinade proved to be a perfect dressing for the noodles. Sláinte!


3 lbs. Boneless Short Ribs, cut into 1 & 1/2 inch pieces
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
2 cans of Draft Guinness
½ cup flour
2 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large onion chopped
7 cloves of garlic chopped
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
2 cups of low-sodium beef broth
1 lb. package of baby carrots
1 lb. broad noodles
Chopped parsley for garnish


1. Sprinkle ribs with salt & pepper, place in a shallow non-reactive bowl, pour in the Guinness, cover with plastic wrap and marinate refrigerated over night. In the morning turn the pieces and return to the refrigerator.
2. About 4 hours before you plan to eat, pour the marinade into a large pot and reduce by ½.
3. Toss the ribs with the flour in a 1-gallon plastic storage bag. Divide into two equal-sized batches.
4. Heat the olive in a large sauté pan and brown each batch of ribs well.
5. Remove the browned ribs to a bowl and set aside.
6. Deglaze the sauté pan with the onions and garlic.
7. When the marinade is reduced by ½, add the browned ribs, onions and garlic and any scrapings from the sauté pan to the reduced marinade.
8. Add the beef broth and thyme sprigs, cover and bring to a boil.
9. When boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 2 & ½ hours. Stir the meat periodically and check to make sure the liquid does not burn off.
10. Test the meat for doneness, it should separate easily with a fork, add the carrots and cook an additional 30 minutes.
11. Cook the noodles separately.
12. Pick over the meat to remove the thyme sprigs and serve as in the picture above.



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