Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Perfect Pork Chops with Gremolata

It's the middle of the week and you ask yourself, what's for dinner? Unlike most people, I am usually thinking ahead to dinner before I've even finished my morning coffee.  Sometimes I have my heart set on something and other times it is more of a flavor profile or general cuisine in mind. I like to go to the grocery store, walk every aisle (I can't help myself) and get inspired. Today the pork chops were calling out to me as I passed by the meat case. In the produce section I found some beautiful thai basil and sweet corn. When I got home there was a few hours left until dinner so I got the chops into a marinade/quick-brine. A marinade always has an acid and a brine always has salt and my concoction had both.  In a bowl, I added the zest and juice of half an orange, 3 tbsp of honey, 1 tsp of sea salt, and 3 cloves of garlic (chopped). I added the pork into the mixture, covered it, and placed it in the refrigerator for 2 hours. The acid in the mixture will help to tenderize the meat while the salt will help to it to retain moisture throughout the cooking process (nothing is worse than a dry pork chop, right?).

I incorporated the thai basil into caprese-ish salad with sugar plum tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar.  I pan-fried the corn-on-the-cob whole with a little butter, garlic salt, and black pepper.  I dried off the chops with a paper towel, added salt and pepper, and pan-fried them in some olive oil for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Next, I removed the chops and let them rest while I made a quick and ultra tasty pan sauce. For the pan sauce I simply added a bit of dry white wine to the same pan that I had just cooked the pork in and let it deglaze and reduce by half. I strained the sauce and poured it over the chop with a bit of gremolata (a chopped herb condiment) made with orange zest, rosemary, thyme, and sage. The whole dinner took less than 15 minutes to prepare start to finish...and Rachael Ray thinks a 30-minute meal is impressive? 

Perfect Pork Chops with Gremolata 
yields 2 servings

2 boneless pork chops
3 tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 orange (zest and juice)
1tsp sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c dry white wine
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp rosemary, chopped 
1 tsp thyme, chopped
1 tsp sage, chopped


[play-by-play is noted above]


  1. This is precisely the kind of recipe I love and the type of ingredients I keep on hand! I rarely buy pork chops though, husband isn't a fan! Just as good with chicken?

  2. Carrie, this recipe would be DELICIOUS with chicken could roast a whole chicken or just the breasts or whatever you like!