Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops with Peperonata

My sister and I are going to Italy for 10 days in June -- booked our plane tickets earlier this week -- and I can't wait for us to eat, drink and sightsee our way around Rome, Florence and Cinque-Terre. Gelato every day? Without a doubt.

The latest issue of SAVEUR has a feature on classic Roman food, including a drool-worthy cover shot of Maiale in Agrodolce, aka Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops. Decided to make that and Peperonata (Stewed Sweet Peppers) for dinner last night to get into the spirit of all things Italian. The chops were supposed to be grilled, but I'm BBQ-less so I pan-seared them and finished them off in the oven.

Both recipes were a cinch to make, and the balsamic-honey glaze for the pork was rich, sweet, and tangy. My photos aren't nearly as pretty as SAVEUR's, but I assure you both dishes were very tasty and went together wonderfully.

Maiale in Agrodolce (Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops)
Saveur | April 2010

4 10-oz. bone-in pork chops, frenched
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 sprig fresh rosemary, torn into 1" pieces

Put pork chops on a plate; drizzle with oil; season generously with salt and pepper; let sit for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Combine vinegar and honey in a 1-qt. saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup. Stir in butter and rosemary and set aside.

Put pork chops on grill and cook, occasionally turning and basting with balsamic mixture, until browned and cooked through, 12–14 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

*Alternately, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and/or 1 tbsp butter in a large skillet. Sear chops for two minutes per side. Brush glaze on both sides, then finish in a 375F-degree oven for 5-8 minutes. Rest for five minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

Peperonata (Stewed Sweet Peppers)
Saveur | April 2010

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 assorted red peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1/4" ctrips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Heat oil in a 4-qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Add peppers, garlic, onions, and 1/2 cup water and season with salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until peppers are soft, about 1 hour. Stir in vinegar and transfer to a serving bowl.

Makes 2 cups.

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