Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Homesick Texan Cookbook: Pork Chops with Salsa Verde Rice

This dish is like a cross between your mom's old-fashioned baked pork chops and your abuelita's fresh salsa.  It's tangy, but still hovers on this side of reminiscent.  You de-fang the jalapeño, but I threw some tequila in for the heck of it.  Like the best smash-ups, this pork is messy but delicious.

Pork Chops with Salsa Verde Rice
Adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

½ pound tomatillos, husks removed, cut in half, or 1 (11-ounce) can tomatillos, drained
¼ medium yellow onion, cut into slivers, divided
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño chile, seeds and stems removed, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 bone-in, thick-cut (porterhouse) pork chops (about ½ pound each and about 1 inch thick)
Salt and black pepper
½ cup white long-grain rice (such as Texmati), soaked in water for 30 minutes and then drained

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

In a blender, mix together the tomatillos, half the slivered onions, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, cumin, chicken broth, tequila, and lime juice.  Add salt to taste.

In a large ovenproof skillet, preferably a cast-iron skillet, heat the oil on medium heat.  Lightly season the pork chops with salt and black pepper and then cook for 6 minutes, turning once.

Remove the skillet from heat.  On top of each chop, place 2 tablespoons of the soaked rice and the remaining onion slivers.  Pour the tomatillo salsa over the chops, cover the skillet tightly with foil, and bake for 1 hour.  Then remove the skillet from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Remove foil and serve chops with the rice and salsa.

Makes 4 servings

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