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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chimichurri Pork Chops & Christopher Cameron Cabernet Sauvignon

I saw a simple chimichurri sauce recipe in a newspaper one day. It sounded good albeit a little boring. I begin searching for other recipes and experimented until I created a chimichurri sauce that punches you in the face with flavor. This is a simple recipe that looks beautiful on a plate and has a certain “Wow” factor. This is another easy company dish as the sauce comes together quickly and needs to be prepared ahead of time. I can make this the night before or the morning of, spend the day with friends and easily get a yummy dinner on the table.

I usually serve this with roasted asparagus and roasted potatoes. I love spooning the chimichurri sauce on the sides as well. I have not yet tried this sauce on chicken, but think it could work well. Let me know if you try it! I usually make four chops with the sauce below, although I successfully stretched it to five to accommodate my husband, myself and our friends, Chris, Krissy and Adam.

Wine: 2003 Christopher Cameron Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma)

I suppose one could call me biased because the maker of Christopher Cameron wines is a good friend of mine. However, I fell in love with the wines before Chris became my friend. His wines are simply incredible! The wines are made in small production lots, so they hard to find but you can order them from the link above. The 2003 Cab is one of my favorites, but the Red Wine and the Petite Sirah are truly wonderful as well. I will admit I wasn’t planning on pairing this wine with this recipe. I have tried some Pinots in the past and found them just a little too light for this recipe. I was actually planning on trying a Syrah or maybe a Zinfandel next. However, Adam surprised me with a bottle of this Cab. It was a reunion of great friends who all love Christopher Cameron wines. I couldn’t think of a better time to open the bottle.

The wine was soft with smooth tannins. Dark berry fruit gave way to dusty cocoa finish. Maybe it was the all the fresh air we’d gotten on our hike that day. Maybe it was the joy of sharing a meal with fabulous friends. Maybe the wine and the pork were made to go together. Regardless the wine stood up to the pork and the pork balanced with the wine. And we all nearly licked our plates clean and we definitely drained our glasses! And I would most certainly drink Cab with this dish again.

RECIPE: Chimichurri Pork Chops
Servings: 4

• 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (you can use regular balsamic, but it is a little stronger and I prefer the white)
• 2 tbsp. Lemon juice
• 1/4 cup fresh basil
• 4 cloves garlic
• 2 shallots bulbs, rough chopped
• ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
• 3 tsp. of fresh oregano, or the leaves from 3 sprigs.
• ½ cup fresh Italian or flat leaf parsley
• 1 jalapeño, rough chopped
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 4 bone-in pork chops
1. Make the chimichurri sauce. I hope you are ready as this is difficult…Place all ingredients, except pork chops in blender or food processor and puree.
2. Try the sauce, but be aware it will be a little tart. I taste it to see if I want to add additional basil or cilantro or anything else I feel it may need.
3. Put pork chops in Ziploc bag or shallow dish and cover with half of the chimichurri sauce.
4. Pour the rest of sauce into a bowl and cover.
5. Refrigerate pork chops and remaining sauce. I would allow the pork to marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
6. About an hour before you want to eat remove sauce from fridge so it will warm to room temperature.
7. About 40 minutes before you want to eat, preheat oven to 350° and remove pork chops from fridge.(I preheat oven at this point to make potatoes). Let meat sit out for about 15-20 minutes so the hot pan won’t shock the meat.
8. Heat a cast iron skillet or oven proof skillet to high heat. If you do not have a cast iron skillet (I recommend getting one) but you can use a regular skillet and transfer chops to an oven safe pan or baking sheet.
9. When a drop of water sizzles in pan, place pork chops into pan. Throw away sauce used for marinade.
10. Cook pork chops about 3 minutes or until nicely seared on one side.
11. Flip over and cook for one more minute.
12. Transfer skillet to oven and cook for about 10 minutes. The pork chops I get usually are about 3/4” thick. If yours are thinner, check them at 8 minutes instead of 10. Check the pork with a meat thermometer to see that pork is cooked until 160° or you can make a small cut and see that almost all pink is gone.
13. When pork is done, pull from oven and let rest for 2-3 minutes.
14. Drizzle some chimichurri sauce over each pork chop.
15. Keep remaining sauce in bowl at table as you will likely want more.

RECIPE: Roasted Red Potatoes

• 12-15 red potatoes
• 1 tsp. Herbs de Provence
• ½- 1 tbsp olive oil
• ½ tsp pepper
• ½ tsp salt

Note: Normally I would cook potatoes at a higher temperature, but I only have one oven. Therefore when I make potatoes or roasted vegetables and need the oven for something else, I usually cook them at whatever temperature I am cooking the meat, fish etc. and adjust the cooking time according. I do the same for the asparagus.

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cut potatoes into eighths or whatever size you prefer.
3. Transfer to baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
4. Sprinkle Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper over potatoes and mix with hands.
5. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until they get nice and brown.
6. If you have limited oven space like me, you can remove them when you need to put pork inside. Cover with foil and pop back in to heat for a few minutes while pork rests.
7. Drizzle chimichurri sauce on top when serving or allow individuals to top themselves.

RECIPE: Roasted Asparagus

• 1 bunch asparagus
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• ½ tsp Olive oil

1. Snap each asparagus to see where it naturally breaks. Or snap one and then line that up with the rest of the bunch and cut off the bottoms at that point.
2. Drizzle with olive oil and distribute the oil using your hands.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of asparagus and oven temperature. I put the asparagus in the oven after I first placed pork chops in skillet on stove. They finished at the same time as the pork.
5. Drizzle chimichurri sauce on top when serving or allow individuals to top themselves.

1 comment:

  1. YUM! That was so delicious and I am excited now to be able to make it myself. Thanks for posting the recipes. I need to get some more Christopher Cameron too!