Bone-in pork chops are an overlooked luxury. Chicken is touted as the healthiest animal protein, but pork, that inexpensive other white meat, according to a popular tag line, is comparable to chicken in calories, saturated fats, and cholesterol level. Plus, there is something special about pork that I can’t quite place: the luscious flavor, the crisped skin — maybe because of its kinship to bacon — it has that element of the forbidden, that, if looked at solely from a healthy eating prospect, shouldn’t exist.
Here, create a lusciously simple meal from flavorful pork chops, white wine, capers, and lemons. There’s just a touch of butter to finish off the sauce, but what would life be without a bit of butter?
Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Capers Recipe
4 bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick
salt and pepper to taste
2 T grapeseed oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 T large capers with stems
2 T unsalted butter
4 cups prewashed arugula, packed
1 cup mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved
Warm grapeseed oil over medium-high heat in large, heavy skillet.
Brown pork chops on each side for about 3 minutes, turning only when flesh releases easily from the skillet. Remove pork chops to clean plate.
Add wine to skillet and heat to boiling, scraping browned bits from pan bottom to deglaze. Add chicken broth, garlic, and lemon juice, stirring, and lower heat to simmer. Reduce sauce to about 1/2 cup. Add capers to skillet and stir gently.
Return pork chops and any juices accumulated on plate to skillet and simmer covered, until chops are cooked through to an internal temperature of 145°F.
Serve with arugula and tomato salad. Arrange arugula on four plates and scatter tomato halves among leaves. Place pork chop on each, and drizzle pan sauce over chop and salad. Serve warm.
Stephanie Davis, a wine educator and inventor of Albarello, a scentless soap designed for wine lovers, told me something light but zippy came to mind when she read this recipe. At first, she considered a German Riesling, but changed her mind, transporting the meal Down Under to New Zealand and suggested a Stoneleigh Vineyards Riesling, nicely priced around $14/bottle. She particularly liked its drinkability before the meal, during, and after. I like a wine that sticks around and doesn’t get old.
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Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, because living brings its own humor, angst and heroism. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished, https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme, or on Twitter @where she hopes you’ll find illumination of the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Vodka and recipes optional.