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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pork Chops with Charred Vegetable Puree

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 Did you know that jalapeños get spicier over time? I did not know this, and didn't think twice about the fact that the jalapeño I used in this recipe was a few weeks ago and starting to get wrinkled. All I knew was that I needed to use it before it's be completely worthless and I'd be throwing it in the trash!
It wasn't until I had roasted the vegetables and pureed them in the blender that I sampled a bit and was taken aback by how spicy it was...like, stinging mouth, sweating temples spicy! Ryan then informed me that my aged jalapeño was likely the culprit, but at that point it was too late to do anything about it so we carried on with dinner as usual.
Although the meal was significantly spicier than intended, we still really liked the dish. I don't make pork chops all that often, but this recipe had been calling out to me ever since I'd pulled it from my Food and Wine magazine last October. Make it with a freshly purchased jalapeño (read: not old and wrinkly!) and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how well the vegetable puree accompanies the lemon thyme pork chops!

One Year Ago: Feta, Mustard Greens, and Tomato Chutney Pizza
Two Years Ago: White Bean and Spinach Bulgur Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Blue Cheese
Three Years Ago: Corn Dip

Pork Chops with Charred Vegetable Puree
from Food and Wine Magazine October 2012

-3 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
-2 small carrots, halved lengthwise
-1 large white onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
-1 large jalapeño, halved and seeded
-2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
-2 tbsp vegetable oil
-salt & freshly ground pepper
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-3 tbsp fresh lime juice
-four bone-in, 1-inch-thick pork rib chops
-1 tbsp chopped thyme
-finely grated zest of one lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange the tomatoes and carrots cut sides down on the baking sheet. Add the onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Drizzle with the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, until well browned.
2. Peel the garlic and coarsely chop the roasted vegetables. Add it all to the blender with 2 tbsp olive oil and lime juice. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drizzle the pork chops with olive oil and rub with thyme and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the top third of the oven for 15 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted near the bone reads 145F. Allow the pork chops to rest for 5 minutes before serving with the charred vegetable puree.