For the double players in all of us
We are starting spring with lots of want to do things in our agendas. After all, this is the season of sweeping, refreshing and finally kind of restarting what we have been procrastinating since the new year started. I have been planning our next trip to Philadelphia for our daughter’s treatment, this time to pick up some cool equipment for her treatment, a new stroller with more support for her body and an activity chair for all the fun activities we make with her through the day.
But this trip has a special significance for us, because this will be her birthday week (yeyyy!!!). She is turning 13, oh my God! I can’t believe she will be that many! Her birthday will be on Easter, March 27th, which I think is a blessing for her to start with this holiday her teenage years. It’s very surreal and something that maybe is difficult to understand, but her being non-verbal has created a so sharp personality as she accents her physical expressions, especially with her eyes. And even if those eyes had melt my heart when she looks at me saying “I love you mom” through them, I have been lately starting to see the “get serious mom, I’m a big girl now” eyes.
When I started exploring the joy of cooking I fell in love with dinner recipes that needed to be baked. This infatuation had nothing to do with the aromas coming out of the oven or the familiar caramelized and kind of smoky flavors typical of roasted foods. It came down to the idea of throwing something in the oven and being able to basically forget about it for a while. Roasting and baking are for me the ultimate multitasking tools for multi-tasker fellows. You can do things while the food is cooking. Even things outside the kitchen, without worrying too much. In this way you can imagine this has been the kind of foods I have been doing for the last couple of weeks.
This is more of a concept than a complete recipe. Pork chops have been a favorite around the house since I started to cook them this way. Just a couple of seasonings, dry brining for a little while and then putting them directly in the oven in very high heat and fairly short time for pork chops. No need for searing them first in another pan, or having messy countertops with all the splatters from cooking. The key here is covering them in olive oil for keeping them moist and to put a small piece of butter for self basting. I used center cut pork chops for this recipe. They are lean and thin, ideal for this technique. I used the Food 52 “All about pork chops guide” to select the cut and pick up some tips of the trade on preparing and cooking. You should take a peek for other ideas on how to select and prepare them. I can say it is a really useful and complete guide.
To serve I prepared this sauce which I think is really fun just because the name you create when you mix together the two of them. Yes, chimichurri and curry makes chimicurry, I will serve it just to say the name ; ) Just mix a bit of red curry paste with chimichurri or even pesto sauce to have a different flavor of these two classic sauces. I really recommend red curry paste instead of green curry paste because it has a milder and even sweeter flavor that goes very well with the garlicky and herbal taste of the chimichurri.
They turned out moist and crispy around the edges. And very full of flavor! Give it a try when you need to activate your multi-tasker persona : ) !
1. I selected center cut chops with the bone. Since these will be roasted, the bone helps to keep them moist and deepens the taste of seasonings.
2. It’s a good idea to dry brine them for a while. As the Food 52 “All about pork chops guide” mentioned, even 10 minutes of some kind of brining or marinating will improve texture and flavor.
3. If using store bought chimichurri, try to go for the fresh made sauce for more flavor. Any good supermarket deli section or gourmet food should have a good version of it.
Roasted pork chops with chimicurry sauce
Total time - 40 minutes, including time for dry brining Prep time – 5 minutes
Equipment – Baking tray
Center cut pork chops – 6 pieces
Fine sea salt – 1 ½ Tsp
Nutmeg – ½ Tsp
Freshly ground black pepper – 1 Tsp or to taste
Olive oil – 2 TBSP
Unsalted butted – 3 TBSP, divided in ½ TBSP for each pork chop
Parsley – couple of sprigs
In a large tray or platter pat dry the pork chop. Transfer them to a baking sheet. Start by sprinkling them with half of the salt, half of the pepper and half of the nutmeg. With your finger or the back of a spoon spread out the seasonings through the meat well, making sure the bone is also well seasoned. Drizzle half of the olive oil through the pork chops as well and again spread out through the meat. Turn over and repeat the process on the other side. Place the butter on top and place some parsley leaves or springs on top of the butter.
Let them rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°
Place the tray in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, turning the tray after the first 10 to 15 minutes to prevent the ones on the back from burning. Take them out of the oven and wait 5 minutes before tasting. Serve with the chimicurry sauce.
For the sauce, just mix half a cup of chimichurry with 1 tablespoon of red curry paste to create the chimicurry. You may serve with pesto sauce, chutney or a salsa fresca as well.