Pork Chops with Lemon-Caper Sauce

After reading the printed version, I received multiple emails from The New York Times about this dish. Sam Sifton was over the moon about this recipe and the book, Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking. He described the book as “excellent and invaluable” and noted that this was his favorite recipe in it. I had to try it.

I agreed with Sam Sifton. 🙂 Lemon-caper sauce is incredible! This wonderful dish was prepared very quickly and was packed with flavor. Tipton-Martin learned the sauce technique that elevates these smothered pork chops from restaurateur B. Smith.

I added additional flour to the sauce to make it more of a gravy. We used fresh bread to mop up all of the remaining sauce on our plates. I served the pork chops with sautéed spinach and roasted red and sweet potatoes on the side.

This recipe was adapted from Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking, via The New York Times, contributed by Sam Sifton. I slightly modified the proportions.

Yield: Serves 4 to 5

  • 4 bone-in pork chops (about 8 ounces each) (I used 5 boneless pork chops)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 very small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 T drained capers
  • 2 T minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest, plus 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • hot sauce, optional
  1. Dry the chops with paper towels, and season aggressively with salt, pepper and the thyme.
  2. Swirl the olive oil into a large skillet, and heat over medium until the oil begins to shimmer.
  3. Add chops, and cook until well browned on each side and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a plate, and cover to keep warm.
  4. Drain most of the fat from the skillet, then melt 2 tablespoons of butter in it over medium heat until sizzling.
  5. Add the shallot and garlic, and sauté until the aromatics soften, reducing the heat if necessary, about 1 minute.
  6. Sprinkle in the flour, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  7. Whisk in the wine and chicken stock, raise heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, 7 to 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in the capers, parsley, lemon zest and juice and hot sauce to taste (if you’re using it)(I omitted it), and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until it’s melted and the sauce looks smooth.
  10. Nestle the pork chops into the sauce, and allow them to warm up for a couple of minutes, then serve, pouring sauce over each pork chop to taste.
  11. Garnish with more fresh parsley.

Zucchini Salad with Pecorino, Basil, & Almonds

This raw zucchini salad was lovely. I loved the contrasting texture from the crunchy almond topping. The dressing was also wonderfully bright and flavorful.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Alexa Weibel. I used a mini food processor to quickly prepare the dressing. We ate this as a side with grilled chicken but it would also be perfect to serve as a light lunch.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small to medium shallot
  • 2 T capers, chopped, plus 2 teaspoons caper brine
  • zest of one lemon (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium zucchini or summer squash (6 to 7 ounces each), or a combination
  • 1/3 cup shaved Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • 1/3 cup roasted salted almonds, chopped
  1. In the bowl of a mini food processor, mince the shallot and garlic.
  2. Add the oil, capers, caper brine, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pulse to combine.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, pulse again. Set aside. (Alternatively, the dressing can be made in a small bowl.)
  4. Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut each squash into 2-inch segments. Slice the segments lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slabs, then slice those slabs lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick batons. Add to a large bowl.
  5. Just before serving, season the zucchini with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  6. Stir in the cheese, herbs and dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Sprinkle with the almonds. Garnish with additional herbs, if desired. Serve immediately.

Rigatoni & Cauliflower Al Forno

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I love it when my husband puts the New York Times Dining section at my “spot” at the kitchen table and says, “Why don’t we have this for dinner?”!!  Sometimes life is so much easier when someone hands you a plan! If you didn’t already guess, that is the story of this meal. 🙂 This dish was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I increased the amount of garlic and cauliflower, and used panko instead of coarse breadcrumbs. Cheesy and tasty.

  • 1 pound rigatoni or other large pasta shape
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ÂĽ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped sage, plus a few (3) sage leaves left whole
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 6 ounces coarsely grated fontina or mozzarella
  • 2 ounces finely grated Romano cheese or other hard pecorino
  • ½ cup panko or coarse dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  1. Cook the rigatoni in well-salted water according to package directions, but drain while still quite al dente. (If directions call for 12 minutes cooking, cook for 10 instead.) Rinse pasta with cool water, then drain again and set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cauliflower in half from top to bottom. Cut out tough core and stem any extraneous leaves. Lay cauliflower flat side down and cut crosswise into rough 1/4-inch slices. Break into smaller pieces.
  3. Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a wide skillet over high heat. Add cauliflower slices, along with any crumbly pieces, in one layer. (Work in batches if necessary.) Let cauliflower brown and caramelize for about 2 minutes, then turn pieces over to brown the other side. Cook for another 2 minutes, or until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork. It’s fine if some pieces don’t brown evenly.
  4. Season browned cauliflower generously with salt and pepper. Add capers, garlic, red pepper flakes, chopped sage, sage leaves and lemon zest and stir to coat.
  5. Put cooked cauliflower mixture in a large mixing bowl. (I used my cooled pasta pot to create fewer dishes!) Add cooked rigatoni and fontina and toss. Transfer mixture to a lightly oiled baking dish. Top with Romano cheese, then with panko or bread crumbs, and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. (Dish may be completed to this point up to several hours in advance and kept at room temperature, covered.)
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until top is crisp and golden. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley before serving.

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One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Grilled Pork Chops with Fried-Sage Salsa Verde and Sage Potatoes

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I am such a sauce person- this dish was super saucy! Sauce on the pork chops with sauce on the side. 🙂 The recipe was adapted from a “staff-favorite” Food and Wine dish. I adapted the recipe by decreasing the olive oil and by incorporating the leftover sage-grapeseed oil into mashed potatoes with grilled scallions. This was a wonderful dish to make with my giant herb garden sage and parsley plants too. Very flavorful and tasty.

  • Grapeseed oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup sage leaves
  • 1 medium-large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 10 T cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery heart with leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • six 3/4-pound boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 pounds gold potatoes
  • 6-8 scallions, grilled
  • milk, to taste
  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 inch of grapeseed oil until shimmering. Add the sage and fry over moderate heat, stirring, until the sizzling stops and the leaves are crisp, 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. In a mini food processor, mince the shallot. Add the vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, celery, capers and thyme and pulse to mince; season with salt and pepper. Pulse in the olive oil.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and mash.
  4. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the pork chops with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 135°, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the chops to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Lightly brush the scallions with olive oil. Grill until tender. Coarsely slice.
  6. Stir the fried sage leaves into the salsa verde and serve with the pork chops.
  7. Stir the sage-grapeseed oil into the mashed potatoes, small amounts at a time, with milk, to taste, to achieve desired texture. Stir in the chopped grilled scallions. Season with salt and pepper.

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One Year Ago:

Poisson Meuniere or Fish with Lemon & Browned Butter Sauce

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I think the browned butter drew me to this recipe- it really made this dish delicious. Meuniere translates as “miller’s wife” and refers to cooking something after dredging it in flour. In this dish, the fish fillets are dredged in flour, sautĂ©ed, and then topped with a lemon, browned butter, parsley and caper sauce. It was a lovely meal that was quick to prepare. This recipe was adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple but Classic French Recipes by Rachel Khoo. Lemon sole, Pacific halibut or trout can be substituted for the Dover sole.

  • 1 pound of Dover sole fillets, skin removed
  • 6 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 T grapeseed oil, divided
  • 4 T unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 T chopped parsley
  • 1 T capers, drained and rinsed
  1. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper and spread out over a large plate. Pat the fish fillets in the flour, evenly coat, and shake off excess.
  2. Heat 1 1/2 T oil in a large frying pan over medium-high to high heat. When the oil is smoking, place the half of the fish in the pan and lower the heat slightly. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden. Place the fish on a warmed plate covered with aluminum foil and repeat with the remaining fish fillets.
  3. Wipe the pan clean with paper towels and return to medium heat. Add butter and cook until light brown and fragrant.
  4. Remove pan from heat and add lemon juice. (It will splatter!) Add parsley and capers and combine.
  5. Dress the fish with the sauce and serve. Alternatively, return the fish to the pan and spoon over the sauce and serve.

Warm Potatoes with Salsa Verde

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I used the huge bunches of basil and parsley from my CSA share to make salsa verde to dress the beautiful red and yellow potatoes also from my CSA share. I love perfect recipes. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food, via The Golden Earthworm Farm. We ate it as part of a lovely summer meal (outside by candlelight! ) with grilled eggplant sandwiches and coleslaw. The feta cheese in the sandwiches worked really well with these flavors. Perfect!

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 3 cups mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, and cilantro (I used basil and parsley)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • small red or yellow potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  1. In a food processor, combine herbs, garlic, and vinegar;  then add capers and anchovy fillets. Pulse until coarsely chopped, 20 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook potatoes in salted, boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Combine warm potatoes with salsa verde, to taste. (I used about 1/4 cup for approximately 1 quart of potatoes.)
Ideas for Using Additional Salsa Verde:
– Toss with steamed beans.
– Mix with crumbled feta and serve on crostini or crackers.
– Spoon over thinly sliced grilled skirt steak.
– Drizzle on baked salmon or shrimp.
– Use as a sandwich spread.
– Stir into drained and rinsed canned black beans.
– Add to scrambled eggs on toast.

Ice Box Buttermilk Salad Dressing

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We have mustard vinaigrette on our salad VERY OFTEN but my husband is actually a creamy salad dressing kind of guy. This is his favorite dressing. I usually make it in the summer when I have all sorts of fresh herbs available. It is really flavorful- and creamy. This recipe was adapted from Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family by Art Smith.

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 T grainy mustard (I use whole grain dijon mustard)
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T rinsed capers
  • 2 T shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley or tarragon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and sriracha hot sauce, to taste
  1. Place capers, shallots, and herbs in a food processor. Process to a fine mince.
  2. Add all other ingredients and process to combine.
  3. Store in a jar and shake well to blend before serving.

Note: The dressing can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

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