Happy Mother's Day! I'm not a mother myself, but there are lots of wonderful mothers in my life and to them I wish a wonderful day (yeah yeah, by the time I post the day is almost over-I'm a night owl, get over it!). Mother's Day is a little bittersweet for me as my own mother passed away in 2001, and the day really just makes me miss her more. I was hoping to make my mom's beef stroganoff tonight to honor her memory but that'll have to wait for another night. This has nothing to do with mother's day and everything to do with an easy, low-maintenance main course. Every mother I know could use more of these!
I'm actually somewhat new to pork. I hadn't eaten it since 8th grade when I learned all about Trichinosis. My mother was pissed. She worked so hard to put healthy and tasty meals on the table but whatever my 8th grade science teacher told me stuck out so brilliantly in my little brain that all I saw were worms everywhere when anything made of pig was on the menu. Chicken or veggies were my life. Then I started dating a guy with serious German roots and pork was everywhere and I couldn't avoid it since we spent a lot of time with his family. I've finally gotten over my fears of wormies and now make a couple of pork dishes a month. And I'm still with the same boy, I'm happy to say. (Boy am I happy that I came back to pork. I really have come to appreciate what a little bacon can do to a meal! :) )
4 center cut boneless pork chops
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a shallow bowl, mix together the minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, kosher salt and black peppper. Trim an excess fat off the pork chops. Rub the herb and garlic mixture all over both sides of the pork chops. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. While you are waiting for the skillet to get hot, put the 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a bowl and using a pastry or basting brush, brush balsamic vinegar on both sides of the chops. Put all four chops in the hot pan and cook for two minutes on each side. Remove from the burner and bake for 8 min (10 if you are a scaredy cat) in oven (depending on thickness).
The inside of the pork should be cooked through but a slight blush color when done. I served this with a balsamic vinegar and goat cheese red cabbage salad (which I don't feel like posting at this time, but I will if there is interest!).
All text and photographs (except where noted otherwise) © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley