Saturday, September 06, 2014

Puebla Pork Chops in a Tomato-Chile Sauce

The sauce is pureed in a blender before adding to the cooking pork chops.

When cooking pork always sear on both sides in a screaming hot pan before cooking at a low temperature to seal in flavor and juices. With thin boneless chops as above, the searing process is less than a minute per side. If you don't want to eat the fat, remove it after cooking, not before, to add additional moisture to the meat.

Believe it or not, there are four pork chops beneath that bubbling sauce!

After plating the chops with rice and a ladle of sauce. top each serving with sliced avocados, radishes and shaved onions. A sprinkling of cilantro is an optional but appreciated gesture. Warm, steamed tortillas make a nice substitute for rice with these saucy chops, as do boiled or roasted potatoes, cornbread OR buttery mashed plantains.





Please don't let the murky photos discourage you from making this extraordinarily fast pork entree. The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled if cooking for a crowd and, if you have a huge deep skillet, you might get away with only a single pan to wash up afterward! Deceptively simple but worthy of your finest dinner parties.

Start by bringing a small amount of water to a boil in a saucepan and add 3 whole jalapenos. Boil for 3 minutes, drain and remove stems and seeds. Toss the jalapeno peppers in to a blender along with 3 large tomatoes (roughly chopped), 1/2 onion (also roughly chopped), 2-3 T. chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems), 1 t. ground cumin and 2 cloves of garlic (chopped). Whirl until smooth then season aggressively with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a wide, deep skillet until hot and then add 4 pork chops. Sear on both sides over very high heat. Pour in the sauce straight from the blender and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently, uncovered until the chops are just cooked through. Warning: overcooking pork will result in dry, stringy chops. Once the pork chops are done, remove from the skillet and crank the heat to high. Boil the sauce until it has thickened quite a bit. Now, return the pork chops to the skillet and simmer for one minute.

Serve the chops drenched in sauce and topped with sliced avocado, chopped radishes and shaved onions.


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