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Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola

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I’ve been enjoying the cool, crisp air of fall lately. It puts me in a cooking and baking mood, as well as inspires me to try out new recipes. Recently, I scored a great deal on pork chops so I have a few recipes on hand to play with. One recipe was for these Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola. Browned pork chops are cooked in a simple pan sauce of tomatoes, and seasoned with Herbs de Provence with a pinch of red pepper flakes. It’s fail-proof and if you’re a fan of make ahead/slow cooker recipes, this one adapts well!…

If you’re hesitant to cook pork chops because they tend to come out dry and flavorless, this will change your mind. For this recipe, the pork chops are nicely browned to develop some flavor right off the bat. Then they simmer in a tomato sauce seasoned with Herbs de Provence, keeping them moist and juicy. You can find Herbs de Provence at most supermarkets in the spice aisle. But if it’s not available, you can make your own blend with this recipe. I’ve also included directions for making this dish ahead and adapted for your slow cooker.

Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola
recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork loin center-cut chops (about 12 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or more to taste
Garnish: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

 

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until they are brown and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted horizontally into the pork registers 160 degrees F, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm.

Add the onion to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, herbes de Provence, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend and the juices thicken slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and more red pepper flakes. Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices from the plate to the skillet and turn the pork chops to coat with the sauce.

Place 1 pork chop on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve for garnish.

*For make ahead/freezer meal: Prepare the recipe by browning the pork chops as directed above. Transfer the pork chops to a plate and allow to cool. Add the onion to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove onions off heat and allow to cool. Once pork and onions have cooled, transfer both to a large freezer sized storage bag. Add the remaining ingredients to the bag, squeeze out excess air, seal and freeze. When ready to prepare, remove from freezer and defrost. Place contents in a slow cooker and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

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