What I love about comfort food is the way you can dress it up or down. It’s like that great black pair of pants that I have in my closet. I can wear them to a board meeting, for a morning spent with 19 second graders and out to dinner with my husband. The pants stay the same and only what gets paired with them changes. They look good on me and they are comfortable. Now if I could only find three more pairs just like them in different colors, I’d be all set.
Comfort food works the same way. When you serve it family style, it’s simple and easy. When you serve it buffet-style, you can dress it up a bit and it’s still comfortable and easy – the way entertaining should be. When you plate it up for a romantic dinner for two, it becomes a lovely, elegant dinner to share with your honey.
This meal is one of those meals. You could serve it to your family, your party guests or it could become your date night dinner for two. The recipes are for the usual 4 to 6 people, but it’s easily reduced. It’s forgiving enough to make for the kids, get them to bed and then have your grownup dinner.
Sauteed Pork Chops with Balsamic and Rosemary Peppers and Onions
If you can’t find boneless chops, it’s a simple task to cut out the small bone that can sometimes accompany the thin chops. If you are serving 4-6 people, save those bones for a soup broth the following day.
For the pork chops:
4 thinly sliced boneless pork chops, about 2 pounds
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a little more to sprinkle
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon butter
For the peppers:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red or yellow pepper, sliced into long, thin strips
1 green pepper, sliced into long, thin strips
1 cup sliced onion, 1 medium onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
several grinds of fresh pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
Place one pork chop at a time on a cutting board. Trim any fat (and bone if present). Cover with a piece of plastic wrap at least twice the size of the chop. With a meat mallet, pound the pork chops to 1/4-1/2 inch thick. On a large plate, combine flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. Dredge the pork chops in the flour mixture. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the pan and add the pork chops. If you do not have a pan large enough to hold all of the pork chops at one time, sauté them in two batches. You will need to use a bit more butter. Sprinkle the pork chops with a pinch of salt. Sauté for four minutes or until golden brown and flip with tongs. Add a little more butter if needed and sauté for another three minutes. Remove from pan, cover and set aside.
For the peppers:
In the same pan that the pork was sautéed in, add the oil. Add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the peppers and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir often for another 8 minutes or until the onions and peppers are translucent and soft. Add the rosemary and balsamic vinegar. Add any juice that has collected on the platter containing the pork.
Serves 4-6 people
Looking forward to dinner for two
© 2008 Anne Mahle