Monday, May 31, 2010

braised pork chops pizzaiola

pesto and pork chop pizzaiola

My mom and I made this a couple weeks back. She handled the pesto, using the family recipe, and I took point on the pork chops. As you can see, my parent's ancient industrial strength blender creates a much silkier and smoother sauce than the rather chunky one I whipped up here in my apartment.

As for the pork chops, this was my first time making them this way, but pork chops pizziaola is sort of Aunt Cathy's specialty, and she's always talking about how easy they are. Additionally, Tenli had made a really tasty variation on the theme back in the fall based on a New York Times recipe.

The basic idea is simple: season and sear the chops quickly on each side, and remove them from the pan. Then saute up some red onions, garlic and fresh herbs. My mom really doesn't like rosemary, (a damn shame in my opinion), so we used basil and parsley instead. Then you toss a can of chopped tomatoes in the pan, and let that break down a bit. Add the chops back into the pan and pile the tomato mixture on top. Cover the pan and let braise in a 350° oven for 15 minutes.

They turned out almost perfect. Oddly, the first bite that Dad and I both had was really quite dry and tough. He accused me of overcooking them, and I was ready to concede the point. However, the second bite was tender and juicy, as was the rest of the chop. It was just strange that we both fell victim to the same anomaly to begin our meal.

I think I like breaded pork chops a little better, but a nice braised chop is definitely a pleasant change of pace. I suggest you try your pork chops pizziaola sometime soon!

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