Sunday, February 04, 2007

Almost from Scratch: Pork Chops with Pepper Cream

I took a cooking class several years ago with Andrew Schloss when this cookbook first came out.  It was about the same time that Sandra Lee started doing her semi-homemade shtick on Food Network, and everyone seemed to want their dinner to look gourmet, but not actually take any time or effort.  I could kinda see getting on that bandwagon, especially if you had a bunch of kids running through the house on a regular basis, but Sandra's stuff just seemed too...packaged.  And unappetizing.  On the other hand, Andrew got very little press that I can remember, but his stuff was...actually good.  Unfortunate for him, but for all those harried moms out there, it means you can actually throw together something halfway decent using things in jars.

Note: I had trouble finding exactly "red pepper pesto", but I found some sort of red pepper-eggplant thick sauce-y thing in a jar, and it was fabulous.  Just grab whatever looks good if the pesto eludes you.

Pork Chops with Pepper Cream
Adapted from Almost from Scratch by Andrew Schloss

4 boneless center-cut pork chops, ¾-inch thick
Salt and black pepper to taste
Olive oil
½ red onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped garlic, jarred or fresh
Olive oil
1½ cups light cream
¼ cup red pepper pesto or spread
1 tablespoon chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Season the pork with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat with olive oil and brown the pork on both sides. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.  Add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent and tender.  Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.  Add the cream to the pan and simmer until slightly thickened.  Whisk in the red pepper pesto, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley.  Return the pork chops to the pan, along with any accumulated juices, and cook for a few minutes more.

Makes 4 servings

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