Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pan Seared Pork Chops on a bed of Sauteed Shallots and Lemon

Shocker, I know, another recipe that involves goat cheese...

But that's besides the point as you could easily sub the goat cheese with a thick, milky slice of fresh Mozzarella, or even skip the cheese all together if you happen to be completely insane.

I know it sounds a little extreme to eat sauteed lemon slices, but as long as you slice them VERY thinly and discard the pith filled hind end, they are quite tasty and bright against the buttery sweetness of the shallots. Add pork + cheese + oregano, and you are in business.

Pan Seared Pork Chops on a Bed of Sauteed Shallots and Lemon with Herbed Goat Cheese

2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 lemon, end sliced off and remainder sliced into paper thin (or as near as you can get) slices
1 teaspoon on sugar
3 shallots, sliced thinly crosswise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch fresh cracked pepper

1/2 cup white wine or vermouth

2 boneless pork chops
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 oz goat cheese, divided and patted into little oval shaped patties
pinch salt

You will need two pans for this. One large and rimmed, nonstick for the sauteed 'sauce' and another to sear the pork in.

Remove the pork from the fridge to get some of the chill out while you prepare the sauce (it takes longer to cook than the chops.)

Heat your large nonstick pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter, and let melt through coating the bottom of the pan. Add the lemon slices, sprinkling over the teaspoon of sugar, and saute, stirring every so often until they've begun to carmelize and become golden brown around the edges - about 5 minutes. It's worth mentioning that while you're waiting for this to happen, it's good to fish out any lemon seeds with your wooden spoon and discard.

Add the tablespoon of olive oil, then the shallots and season with the salt and pepper (I know it seems like a lot of salt, but it's necessary (use half the amount if all you have on hand is table salt.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots have become transluscent - about 8 minutes. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, and simmer until the liquid has been reduced to 2 tablespoons. Stir in the final tablespoon of butter (you can use less if desired) and reduce the heat to low to keep it warm.

Meanwhile, season both sides of your pork with salt and pepper. In your second pan, heat up the final tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat, letting it heat through for a minute. Add the pork, getting a nice sear, and cook 4 minutes. Flip to the other side and top the seared side with your goat cheese ovals, sprinkling over the dried oregano and a touch more salt, if desired. Cook the pork an additional 4 minutes, just until cooked through. Remove from heat to not dry them out.

To serve, add a couple spoonfuls of the sauteed shallot and lemon sauce to your plate to form a bed, then top with the goat cheese covered pork chops. Bon Appetit!

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