Saturday, September 24, 2011

rosemary brown sugar pork chops

Aside from being one of the first real things I've cooked in my new apartment, these pork chops were the first things to be cooked in my brand new cast iron pan. I've wanted one for years but have always been denied the pleasure, either due to practical issues or because I was worried that a careless roommate would destroy my wonderful pan. But now I have one (three, actually--they came as a set), and I completely earned it by lugging it around a gigantic mall, onto a crowded bus, and then up a hill because I accidentally got off said bus about four stops early. Totally worth it. This recipe came from The Kitchn, and I only messed around with it a little bit (more of all the seasonings). My pork chops were very thin, since I was originally planning on using them in a stir-fry rather than whole, but they soaked up the flavors really nicely.

2 large or 4 small pork chops
1 - 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons pepper*
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Mix the rosemary, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cumin together in a shallow dish, and coat the pork chops in it. If you have time, cover them and stick them in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors soak in (I highly recommend this). Take them out of the refrigerator and let them sit for ten minutes or so.

Heat the oil over medium high, and put in the pork chops. Cook a couple of minutes on each side (mine were super-thin, so they only took about two minutes per side, but a nice thick one would take more like five minutes on each), until the internal temperature is about 145ºF. Having a meat thermometer is helpful, but I ended up just cutting them open to see if they were cooked through. The brown sugar will caramelize a little on the outside, which is my favorite part of this dish.

Remove from the pan and cover with foil to finish cooking. Serve with something delicious (I had orzo with pesto and sundried tomatoes, which you'll see in the next post).

* I used this crazy flower pepper from Trader Joe's, which I've been putting on everything lately. Highly recommend it.

Coming soon: more recent stuff, plus some peeks into that epic dinner party my mother and I cooked back in August.

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