Thursday, January 10, 2013

Carmela Soprano's Pork Chops with Vinegar Peppers / Garlic Hints

Paulie Walnuts is a bit of a Mama's boy.
He said he often made the guys a potatoes and egg sandwich to improve their morale.
From the way he acted, who knew?

Paulie's chapter My Nucci in Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook has easy recipes.
I'll get to the potatoes and egg sandwich recipe later.
This recipe is a handy way to use the leftover marinated peppers.
Paulie does get a bit sentimental about this meal.
...never have there been better times in my life than, in her later years, just the two of us, Nucci and Paulie, sitting down to an evening meal of pork chops with peppers and garlic and laughing about the day's events.


Paulie also has a few hints on using garlic:
  • For a mild garlic taste, use it whole.  Hit the clove with the flat side of the blade and put it in the oil.  You can remove the garlic before serving.
  • For a medium garlic taste, slice the clove razor thin.  Remember the prison scene in Goodfellas?
  • For a strong garlic taste, finely chop so it will disperse through the food.   
  • Never use garlic presses or dried garlic powder.

Paulie sprinkles salt and pepper on the chops before they cook.
Salt tends to draw out the juices, making the meat drier.
Your choice when you want to salt your meat.


                        Pork Chops with Vinegar Peppers

Serves 4

Pat dry with paper towels
4 pork rib chops, about 1-inch thick

Heat in a large skillet over medium high heat
1 Tablespoon olive oil
When the oil is very hot place the chops in the pan.
Cook the chops 5 minutes on each side.
Lower the heat to medium.

Scatter around the chops
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
Cover the pan
Cook for 5 minutes more.  
You want the chops to be slightly pink near the bone.
Transfer the chops to a platter and keep warm.

Add
2 Cups mild pickled sliced peppers
2 Tablespoons of their juice
pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Spoon the peppers over the chops.  Serve immediately.


Would I make Pork Chops with Vinegar Peppers again?
Absolutely.
I prefer finely chopping the garlic.
Try it, you'll like it!


One recipe down.  Fifty-five more to go.    

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