Saturday, September 22, 2018

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Lemon-Mustard Sauce

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At last....the first day of fall is here. I am tired and bored with summer meals, and now that the calendar and the weather are in unison, I can move on to heartier fare. Pasta. Roasted meats. Casseroles. And pan searing with my beloved and ancient cast iron pan.

This Claire Saffitz recipe is perfect for mid-week dinners, as it can easily come together in less than 20 minutes. And the sauce is beyond extraordinary blend of lemon juice, garlic, mustard, oregano, cumin and cilantro.

4, 1/2-inch pork chops
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon: 1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons fresh juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano (Turkish preferred)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves chopped

  1. Pat pork chops dry with paper towel. Season pork chops generously on one side with salt and pepper. Turn and season other side generously, then sprinkle evenly with ½ teaspoon sugar. 
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add chops, sugared side down and cook, gently shaking skillet occasionally but not disturbing pork, until underside is caramelized and chops are deeply browned all over, about 5 minutes. Turn chops and reduce heat to low. Cook just until second side is opaque, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and let chops rest 10 minutes in skillet (the cooking will carry over and finish the chops while they rest). 
  3. Meanwhile, whisk lemon zest and juice, garlic, mustard, oregano, cumin, and remaining ½ teaspoon sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in remaining ¼ cup oil until emulsified. Fold in cilantro and season with salt and lots of pepper. 
  4. Transfer chops to serving plates then whisk any juices that have accumulated in skillet into remaining dressing. Spoon dressing over top of pork chops. Swipe pork through dressing as you eat.

Wine pairing: Try a Columbia Crest Merlot @ just $7 a bottle

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

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