When it comes to cooking, I am all about ROI. I love to create simple recipes that taste as if they took lots of work. And if a recipe is labor-intensive, it better be well-worth the toil and trouble. Today I made something that tastes like it took lots of time and work, but it actually requires little effort.
Whenever I’m short on inspiration, I head directly for the refrigerator, the freezer and the pantry and pretend I’m competing on “Iron Chef.” What do I have on hand that I can make look, feel, smell and, of course, taste amazing? What will be the perfect foil of the day? That’s what led me to make this dish for the first time years ago. I adore tart, bright and briny flavors so I always have a jar of capers on hand.
I know an incredibly gifted chef who taught me his concept of “the perfect bite.” It’s an exacting balance of flavor and texture, a miniature representation of everything on the plate… and proof positive that you have created a perfect and delicious meal. And that is what I strive to attain each time I fire up the stove: The Perfect Bite. Tonight that consisted of pork chops served with a sauce of white wine and capers. I served it with garlicky roasted red potatoes and asparagus.
By Nicci Morris
Pork Chops with White Wine and Caper Sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
2 pounds pork chops, fat trimmed (chicken breast cutlets would also work well)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (plus more for seasoning meat)
3/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning (plus more for seasoning meat)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup white wine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. While oil heats, combine flour, garlic powder, lemon pepper seasoning and thyme. Season each pork chop with garlic powder and lemon pepper seasoning. Dredge seasoned chops in flour, lightly coating each. Place chops in hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer chops to a foil-lined baking sheet and place in oven to finish cooking through, 15-20 minutes.
While chops finish in the oven, put butter in a small saucepan. When butter has melted, add onion and garlic. Saute over medium-high heat until onions have just started to caramelize and garlic is fragrant. Add capers, pepper and wine. Let the sauce come to a gentle boil to help the sauce reduce and thicken, about 8 minutes. Serve sauce over pork chops.