The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘Balsamic Vinegar’

Pork Chops with Hot and Sweet Peppers

In Meat, Pork, Recipes on May 13, 2011 at 9:35 AM

 

Quick, easy and delicious!

Quick, easy and delicious!

Ingredients:

•    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

Steps:

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 on each side.
5.    When pork chops are browned to your liking, remove them from pan and set aside.
6.    Remove the garlic and pour off all of the fat except for about 2 tablespoons.
7.    Turn the heat to high, add the wine deglazing the pan, and let it boil for about 3 minutes.
8.    Return the pork chops to the pan with any juice that has collected.
9.    Add the cherry and roasted peppers and mix them in.
10.    Cover the pan and continue to cook on high for 5 minutes, turning the chops once or twice. (note 2)
11.    Remove the cover, lower heat to medium and cook for 5 more minutes turning the chops once or twice.
12.    Stir in the balsamic vinegar and continue cooking for 3 minutes more.
13.    Remove the pork chops and peppers to a plate and cover with aluminum foil and reduce the gravy, or add a tbsp. or two of Wondra® to a thicken to your liking.

We usually serve this dish with sides of fresh broccoli rabe, sautéed in garlic and oil and Pearled Couscous, which soaks up the extra gravy very nicely.

Note 1: If you do not have a stainless steel or cast iron skillet, which gives the best browning, use a non-stick skillet, but halve the amount of olive oil.

Note: 2: At this point, you can transfer the pork and peppers to a pot or casserole, add the balsamic vinegar to the gravy and thicken to your liking, then add to the pot or casserole and cover for up to 2 or 3 hours. The chops will continue cooking from the residual heat. Ten minutes before serving re-heat the pot and serve as above. 

See Related Article


Basta Pasta!

In General Articles on May 13, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Enough with the pasta! Now it’s time for some meat dishes – more protein and fewer carbs. Pork is promoted by its producers as ‘the other white meat‘ and like chicken, the ‘original white meat’, it is sold in many different forms: roasts, tenderloin, pork shoulder, sausages and ribs, and of course chops, either on the bone or boneless. It is also adaptable to a variety of different cooking methods: frying, roasting, broiling, braising and barbecuing.

Also like chicken it goes well in combination dishes cooked with a variety of vegetables. Different sauces and spices enhance its flavor and keep it from becoming boring. A popular Southern Italian dish is Pork Chops with Vinegar Peppers. Vinegar peppers are sweet peppers that are packed and sold in jars like roasted sweet peppers; however, they are preserved primarily in vinegar and spices. The problem is that they are not always easy to find.

As a result, we developed our version after experimenting with different types of peppers. We tried fresh peppers, both red and green, as well as jarred ones. The fresh peppers required a lot of cooking time up front and frankly added little to the finished product. Ultimately we settled on a combination of hot and sweet jarred papers. We also experimented with red wine vinegar and white wine vinegar, but found them both to be too harsh, too acidic; eventually we decided upon balsamic vinegar.

Another issue with pork, particularly pork chops, is that it tends to dry out quickly in cooking. Therefore it benefits from braising, i.e., being cooked in liquid. We chose to cook these pork chops in white wine to keep them moist and add a bit of flavor. Pork Chops with Hot and Sweet Peppers is delicious, quick and easy to make and another family favorite.

Where’s the beef? Check it out at: Steak! It’s What’s for Dinner!

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