From Scratch, With Love

The Unexpected Psychological Benefits of Pork (it’s Science)

with 2 comments

I stayed up late last night watching the Lost series finale (so good!) and as a result I was in a bad mood today.  Sleepiness mixed with the unhappiness that comes with the end of a weekend (a very productive weekend, I might add) is not a good combination.  By the time I got home at 7 I was cranky, hungry, and tired.  However, I had been looking forward to the dinner I had planned, so I shoved some peanuts in my mouth and got to work. Then something magical happened – I felt better.  Pork is magical.

This is actually my first time really making pork chops (one of my father’s many creations), but I had a craving for pork and I had a roasted potato recipe I wanted to try (unfortunately I was unaware that the recipe took an hour so I nixed that and made delicious mashed potatoes).  My brother, Camilo, makes pork chops regularly and enjoys them immensely so I thought I’d give them a shot.

Also, I’d like to point out how All-American this meal is for me. I guess it’s because Memorial Day is coming up and I’m feeling patriotic.

Seared Pork Chops

Serves 2 (feel free to increase the portions proportionately for a bigger family or leftovers – which are delicious!)

Preheat the oven to 375.

If you’re making mashed potatoes, start those potato chunks boiling.

Line a broiler pan or baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.  Thinly slice 1/4 an onion.  Wash and deseed a jalapeño or serrano pepper and slice it into thin slivers.  Mince 2 cloves of garlic.

Lay 2 pork chops (mine were about 3/4 an inch thick and 5 oz each) on a plate and rub thyme, black pepper, rosemary (minced, if fresh), and the garlic into the flesh, in that order.  Pile the onions and slivered peppers on top.

Heat a medium skillet over high heat until very hot.  Drizzle a little olive oil into the pan and let it heat for 30 second or so.  Place the chops, seasoned side down, into the pan, trying to get as much of the onion and pepper under the pork chop as you can.

Allow the chops to sear for about five minutes.  The onion and pepper should blacken some.  Remove them using a spatula and quickly (yet gently!) flip onto the broiler pan/ baking sheet and sprinkle with salt to taste.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

If you’re planning of having peas or broccoli, now’s a good time to start them steaming!  The potatoes are probably done cooking by now so you can drain most of the liquid, add butter and milk or cream, mash away, and season with herbs and spices of your choosing (don’t forget salt!).

After 10 minutes, remove the pork chops.  If they’re still a little pink in the middle, put them back in the oven for 2 or 3 more minutes.

Chow down!

Note: my father uses this method for “country-style” ribs.  You can do so as well, but the cooking time will have to be increased to about 45 minutes.  The result is a very juicy piece of pork!


Written by poperatzii

May 24, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Pork, Weekday Meals

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. When I do Pork Chops, I usually sear both sides for a total of 4 minutes or so. I suppose this is mostly because I don’t put onions or peppers on one side of the pork, I add the onions to the pan itself.

    Another addition I do: after I flip the pork to sear the other side, I add mushrooms to the pan and then pour some white wine over the chops. Then I sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top of the pork chops. After a couple of minutes, I move the entire pan into the oven to finish it off (make sure the frying pan is totally oven safe. It wouldn’t do to melt a plastic handle or something). This usually results in a pork chop that is still juicy, while making sure it is cooked enough (it’s a shame pork needs to be cooked all the way through, or it could be juicier).


    May 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm

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