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Pork and Peppers

Pork and Peppers

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Serves 2.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a Gordon Ramsay recipe.

I love to watch a real chef cook. I can learn not only new foods, but useful kitchen techniques I’d never thought about. This recipe taught me a way to cut bell peppers in a quick and simple way for chopping or slicing. The dish itself, if the pork chops are cooked only until done and tender (not overcooked), is simple and delicious. With some advance preparation, you can cook this meal in minutes.

Techniques learned:

Trimming a bell pepper for slicing.

Ingredients:

Olive oil for frying
1 red onion (about 12 ounces/340g)
2 bell peppers, 1 red and 1 gold
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice (or tarragon vinegar)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small bunch (~1 ounce/28g) fresh basil leaves
2 pork chops, about 7 ounces/200g each
To Prepare the Chops:
Olive oil for frying
2 cloves garlic, gently crushed and peeled
Fresh thyme
3 tablespoons butter

Directions:

Cut the stem from the peppers and set each pepper on its head. Cut the flesh along the sides of each pepper, leaving behind the seeds and white membrane. Slice the pepper pieces into long slender spears. Chop the onion into medium–coarse pieces.

Heat the oil in a large skillet until hot. Add the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sugar and sauté over medium-high heat until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice (or vinegar) and cook about a minute to reduce the liquid. Add the extra virgin olive oil and cook about a minute longer.

Julienne the basil by cutting the leaves into strings. Add to the skillet, cook about 30 seconds, and then transfer to a dish. Wipe the pan carefully. (There is no need to wash it.)

Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and coarsely grated pepper. If there is a fatty rind along the edge of the chops, cut through it to the meat at about 1–inch intervals. Add oil to the skillet and heat until hot. Sear the pork chops, with the garlic and plenty of thyme sprigs, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Then add the butter to the pan and spoon it over the chops several times during the cooking. If you have a good meat thermometer, cook to an internal temperature of about 140°F (60°C). Transfer to a plate with the garlic, cover with foil, and let rest 4 to 5 minutes.

Arrange some of the sautéed peppers on a plate and set a pork chop on top, a little to one side. Serve immediately.