Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Rosemary and Oregano Pork Chops - Caity

Growing up in my family, you learned that dinner did not happen at 5 PM. It also didn't happen at 6, or even 7. It was not abnormal for us to eat at 8 or 9 PM because someone in the family (dad) HAD to exercise after work (why didn't I get that gene???), which frequently pushed dinner out until right before bedtime. It was/is a common subject of discussion at our house, "Dad HAS to go on a 30 mile bike ride and THEN we can eat". It always made sense why we ate late; dad worked late, then he exercised, then we ate late. 1 + 1 = 2.

Then I grew up, moved out of my parent's house, and became responsible for feeding myself and somehow we STILL don't eat dinner until 8 or 9 PM. And now I can't even blame my dad for it! I guess a late dinnertime it was ingrained into me at a young age... or maybe I am just unprepared until 8 PM. Who knows? Let's not assign blame just yet.

Now that it is staying light longer, dinner is usually served at about 9 PM at our house on a much more frequent basis. It's just too tempting to lounge in our backyard with a nice glass of wine in the evening. Eventually, I will get my act together and make something easy. That is why I love these pork chops! They are easy, they are fast, and they are full of lemony herby goodness! You can marinate them overnight or you can marinate them for 10 minutes and they will have the same amount of great flavor. 

Serve with lemon rice and a nice salad and you must enjoy outdoors! This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Melia Marden's "Modern Mediterranean" (which is the source for Roasted Fairytale Eggplants with Chili Lime Yogurt Sauce, Balsamic Roasted Chicken, and Fig Crostinis).

Serves 4

 what you'll need:

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 bone-in pork chops, 1 inch thick
2 heaping Tbsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, cut in half crosswise

Preheat the oven to 400 F. 

In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, oregano, garlic and 1/4 cup olive oil and mix well. Rub the mixture over both sides of the pork chop. At this point you can either place the pork chops in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight, or set aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of your meal.

Season both sides of the chops with 1/4 tsp kosher salt per side and a generous amount of black pepper. 

In a heavy-bottomed oven proof frying pan (if you don't have one, use a regular frying pan then place on a baking sheet to put in the oven), heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat for one to two minutes. 

Place the pork chops in the pain and cook until golden and crisp about 3 minutes. Then flip the chops and cook the other side for about 3 minutes. If all the chops won't fit in your pan, work in batches.

Arrange the halved lemons cut side down around the chops and place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. They should be just cooked through but still juicy and slightly pink. Let the chops rest for a few minutes. 

Serve with cooked lemon halves and squeeze them over the pork chops at the table. 

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