Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola

I love Giada De Laurentiis. She has to be my favorite Food Network chef. Brian got me two of her DVD sets for Christmas and I just could watch them over and over. It's a sickness I have. Also, I love the weekends because I can watch the Food Network for hours in the mornings.

For some reason, I remember the episode where Giada made these pork chops. She served them to her husband and told him the name of the pork chop and asked him what he thought it meant. His response was "Because it's supposed to taste like pizza?" She laughed and told him exactly!

My mind is a steel trap for useless information.

The original recipe for these calls for herbes de Provence. Well, I couldn't find any in this town the day I was going to make this dish, so I substituted that for Italian seasoning. I also added mushrooms and kalamata olives, but feel free to leave those out if you don't like them.

Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola
Adapted from Giada

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork loin center-cut chops (about 12 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound sliced baby portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until they are brown and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted horizontally into the pork registers 160 degrees F, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm.

Add the onion to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for about 4 more minutes to develop a deep color. Add the tomatoes with their juices, olives, Italian seasoning, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend and the juices thicken slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and more red pepper flakes. Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices from the plate to the skillet and turn the pork chops to coat with the sauce.

Place 1 pork chop on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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