Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pork Chops with Rosemary Orange Gremolata

Gremolata. A fancy word for a really yummy chunky sauce made with herbs. There are lots of versions of a gremolata and they can go with most any type of meat. This particular gremolata was supposed to go with lamb chops, but those are so blasted expensive and pork chops are not. Too bad lamb chops are pricey because I really like lamb. But I think I love duck the most. If you are ever at a restaurant that offers duck, order it, for me. It is so flavorful and moist. Whoa Whitney, get back on task. Now about the pork chops...

If you can cook a pork chop just right, you know a very important skill. A dried, tough pork chop is like getting an F on a test that you studied too hard for. Don't give those pork chops too much attention and thought. Let the pan do the work. If you keep messing with it, you aren't going to get any lovely browning, you are going to get an ugly piece of gray, tough meat.

Also, pink is the new white when it comes to pork. When you have reached the right temperature, the middle will be pink. Don't get a weird and think you have to cook it more, because you don't.

If you can get it right, you will have a moist piece of pork that has an amazingly complimentary sauce that you will end up scraping out of the bowl.

For the pork chops:
4 bone-in pork chops
Kosher salt and ground pepper
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Season the pork chops lightly with salt and pepper on each side.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Once the oil runs quickly in the pan, add the pork chops. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees. The middle should be a pale pink. Remove from the pan and set aside and keep warm.

For the gremolata:
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 sprigs rosemary, leave stripped off
Zest from 2 oranges
3 tsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

On a cutting board, smash the garlic cloves and sprinkle the salt on top. With the flat side of a large knife, smear the garlic and salt against the board, making a coarse paste. Add the parsley, rosemary, and orange zest on top. Chop the garlic, parsley, rosemary and orange zest until the herbs are minced. Transfer the herb and garlic mixture to a small bowl and add the vinegar and olive oil. Mix to combine. Serve over the pork chops as a condiment.

Rookie's Notes: Make the gremolata first so that the herbs have a chance to mix and mingle while the pork cooks. When we had this, I served it with couscous. I didn't season the couscous very heavily, just salt and pepper and oregano. I am so glad I did because I could add a little of my leftover gremolata to the couscous on my plate and it was DELISH. And by the way, babies love couscous. Van was completely covered. But make sure you have a dog to lick up the mess afterwards. Otherwise, you will never give your baby couscous again. Thanks Gus.

On another note:

This is a picture of us at my BIL and SIL's wedding in November. I cropped everyone else out because I wanted to get a good look at my little family. Someone please tell me why Ethan looks like a criminal? And why does Jack look like he is at Disneyland? You would think he is the one that just got married.


My crazy crazy life said...

HA! You crack me up! And btw, your kids are scrumptous!

Jones Family said...

I LOVE Jack. He cracks me up!

Kalli Ko said...

your dog is named Gus? MY DOG IS NAMED GUS! and he can't wait until my kid starts chucking food off his high chair. he'll think he died and went to doggie heaven.