Pork Chops With Tangy Hot Cherry Peppers

Introduction

Spotting two perfectly plump pork chops during a recent trip to the market sparked my desire to share a delicious Italian-American recipe. Inspired by Patsy’s Cookbook by Sal Scognamillo, I bring you a revamped version of Pork Chops with Vinegar Peppers.

The Family Connection

This recipe holds a special place in my heart. My father, who was Patsy Scognamillo’s attorney, played a role in establishing the iconic Patsy’s restaurant in New York City. As a child, my father had strict standards for authentic Neapolitan cuisine, making Patsy’s a favored spot.

A Twist on Tradition

Unlike my mother’s recipe, which featured sweet bell peppers and thin chops, this adaptation calls for the heat of cherry peppers and thick, juicy pork chops. Additionally, while my mother cooked her version on the stovetop, Patsy’s method involves the oven. However, I’ve made some adjustments to accommodate modern tastes.

Achieving Perfection

To ensure tenderness, I brined the chops in a mixture of water, salt, and sugar. This compensates for the leanness of modern pork. I also substituted fresh thyme for basil, and for those who love a generous amount of sauce, I used the recipe’s measurements even though I was preparing only two chops.

The Flavorful Result

The outcome? Moist and tender pork chops cooked to a perfect medium. The cherry peppers added a delightful texture and complemented the succulent flavors of the roast. The heat from the peppers subtly lingers on the palate, mingling with the garlic, wine, broth, and balsamic to create a satiny sauce that enhances the dish. To complete the meal, I served the chops alongside garlic-and-rosemary roasted potatoes.

See also  Brine Pork Belly

Recipe: Pork Chops with Vinegared Hot Cherry Peppers (adapted from Patsy’s Cookbook by Sal J. Scognamillo)

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating pan
  • 4 center-cut rib pork chops, each 1½ inches thick (about 2 pounds)
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 8 hot vinegar cherry peppers (about 1½ cups), seeded and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8 large basil leaves (substitute with fresh thyme if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Optional Brining:

  1. Create a brine by combining 6 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of salt.
  2. Submerge the pork chops in the brine, weighing them down with a plate. Allow them to brine for 1 hour.
  3. Pat the chops dry with paper towels.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  2. Lightly coat a nonstick roasting pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the chops in the pan and roast in the preheated oven for 8 to 9 minutes on one side, then turn and roast for another 7 to 8 minutes on the other side. (Note: Adjust cooking times based on the size of your chops. Larger chops may require longer cooking.)
  3. While the chops roast, heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Sauté the garlic until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the cherry peppers, chicken broth, white wine, balsamic vinegar, basil (or thyme), and parsley to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Drain and discard the oil from the roasting pan. Pour the sauce over and around the chops. Return the pan to the oven and continue roasting for 6 minutes or until the chops reach an internal temperature of 185°F. (Note: For a medium doneness, aim for an internal temperature of around 150°F. Adjust cooking times accordingly.)
  5. Transfer the chops to a warmed serving platter or individual dinner plates. Spoon the sauce over the chops.
See also  Meat Church Pork Chops

Wine Pairing: Barbera, Pinot Grigio

Pork Chops with Vinegared Hot Cherry Peppers

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