Monday, July 1, 2013

Meaty Monday: Pork Chops with Smoked Paprika, Roasted Peppers & Braised Onions

A break in the heat means a wonderful dinner
that's not grilled, for a change!
Cook the onions until they turn gold and translucent...
they get sweet!
Smokey, juicy pork chops, oh, deliciousness!
Yep, this is a rerun. But Chuck has been complaining that we haven't had this is a long time and I've been working and gardening, working and gardening. Last time I made this was last summer when I told you all about it, and it's a perfect dish for a Meaty Monday because you can have it on the table in about a half hour, and for much of that time, the food is in the oven.  So you can sit and have that much deserved beer. Sadly, we are not having the little cool-off we had last year...but we do have air conditioning...

We must be having a blip in our oven-like summer. Suddenly for the last couple of days, it's actually been nice. Like "my shirt isn't stuck to my back" nice. Nice enough for a hot dinner from the oven. A lapse in the heat and humidity. Even though I go from my air-conditioned job to my air-conditioned car to my air-conditioned home, I'm just not that motivated to turn on the oven. Not when it's just plain hot-hot-hot. But I am really tired of grilled this and that.

Even though I do love summer, it made me very happy to make a deeply smoky, spicy, oniony base for some nice, thick bone-in sirloin pork chops. Without having to think about how much it might heat up the kitchen. I miss the savoryness of cooler weather foods. Just not the cold weather. This Spanish-inflected dish doesn't take that long in the oven, so you really could consider it for just about any time of year.

We enjoyed our chops over simply sauteed mushrooms and spinach for a grain-free, gluten free and Paleo dinner. And best yet, since we were just two at dinner last night, there are leftovers for today. When the heat comes back this afternoon, I'll just have to reheat. For now, yippee! for the nice blip in the weather and a flavorful baked dinner.

Note: Smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón) comes usually in either mild or hot, but be careful. Even the mild can pack a wallop at the two tablespoons used in this recipe. Use your discretion.

Pork Chops with Smoked Paprika, Roasted Peppers and Braised Onions
Serves 4

4 bone-in sirloin pork chops 1/2" to 1" thick
salt, fresh ground pepper
2 T olive oil or coconut oil
4 cups sliced onions (about 3 large)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2T smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón, see note)
1 12-oz. jar fire roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup dry Sherry or white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Salt and pepper the pork chops on both sides lightly. Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan, and quickly brown the chops on both sides, remove from pan and set aside on a plate.

Add the onions to the oil and stir well to cover with the oil, salt lightly and cook about 5 minutes until the onions begin to brown a bit and turn golden. Stir in the garlic and the smoked paprika and mix well. cook for about a minute, then add the roasted peppers and the wine. Bring to to a simmer, cover the pan and turn down the heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until the unions are nearly translucent.

Place the pork chops in the prepared baking dish, then removing the cover from the pan, and stirring up all the juices, pour the onion and paprika mixture on top of the pork chops. Taste the juice for seasoning.  Bake in the oven uncovered, about 20 minutes until they are cooked through.

I like this with sautéed spinach and mushrooms, or this cauliflower puree. If you like potatoes or a grain, go for it.

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