Each year, as winter comes to a close and the smell of spring is in the air, I find myself cooking my Tuscan styled pork chop recipe. It is teeming with fresh ingredients, filling the kitchen with fragrant aromas of garlic, basil, shallots and peppers - a key to great Italian cooking. To complete this nasal and tastebud explosion, I like to serve warm homemade garlic bread on the side.
The pork chops can be cooked two ways, grilled or sautéed. My preference is grilling because it contributes to the aromatic experience, enhancing the flavors of the dish. To add an additional layer of complexity, I sauté peppers, tomatoes and fresh herbs in butter, placing them under the chops to create a colorful foundation.
The thought of fresh garlic bread makes my mouth water! When preparing it, I use fresh garlic, parmesan cheese, unsalted butter, Italian parsley, diced shallots and a pinch of salt and pepper. Take the garlic spread and slather it all over a nice rustic French/Italian bread, baking it until the cheese melts and the edges of the bread start to brown.
To enhance this experience, I asked Tulalip's sommelier, Tommy Thompson, to help me pair the perfect wine. He selected the Amuse Bouche 'Pret a Boire' (pronounced "Pret Ah Bwar"). This stunning dry, full-bodied French style Rosé is a blend of 20 percent Grenache and 80 percent Syrah. It tantalizes the nose with scents of rose petals and strawberry before a panoply of refreshing flavors, including plum and dry herbs; a mouthwatering experience.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. Buon Apetitto!
Sous Chef, Eagles Buffet, Tulalip Resort Casino
4 each pork chops 6-8 ounces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Place the pork chops in a large zip lock bag or bowl.
Combine olive oil, salt, cayenne and black pepper, pour over pork chops and coat both sides with marinade. Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.
For grilling, pre heat your grill. They will take about 7-10 minutes to cook, turn them every couple of minutes. Cook until it reaches at least 145F, internal temperature
For sautéing, pre heat a large sauté pan over a med-high heat. Cook the pork chops for a few minutes on each side. They will take about 7-10 minutes to cook.
When the pork chops are done, set them aside and keep them warm by wrapping them on a plate with foil while you finish cooking the peppers and tomatoes.
Bell Peppers and Sun-dried Tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 each red, green and yellow peppers - cut off the stem, spilt the peppers in half, then remove
seeds and finish by cutting into thin strips
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon shallot, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 medium tomato, diced
6 fresh basil leaves, diced
1/2 cup white wine
Salt to taste
Fresh chives for garnish
Melt butter in a large sauté pan (if the chops weren't grilled, use the pan you cooked them in)
Add peppers, garlic and shallots, sauté over medium-high heat until the peppers begin to soften
Add basil, fresh diced and sun-dried tomatoes, continue sautéing for 1-2 minutes.
Stir in white wine and reduce the mixture by 1/4.
Arrange a serving of peppers and tomatoes together on a plate, placing the pork chop on top. Take the extra sauce from the pan, pour a small amount over each serving and garnish with a few chives on top.