Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pork Chops with Capers and Potato and Cauliflower Salad

Both of these dishes came from Lidia Bastiancich's Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy.  I used boneless, thick cut pork loin chops and I brined them for an hour or so before cooking them.  Both the chops and potato salad were delicious.

Pork Chops with Capers (Costate di Maiale con Capperi)
adapted from Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy


1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 quarts water

Combine the salt, sugar and 2 cups of the water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and dissolve the sugar and salt. Place in a large bowl.  Add ice to the remaining water.  When it is cold, measure out 1 1/2 quarts and add to the bowl with the salt and sugar.  Add the pork chops and refrigerate for and hour or so.


4 thick cut, boneless pork loin chops
2 T butter
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/2 cup flour for dredging
1 large lemon, sliced into thin rounds
4 whole peperoncini
3 T capers, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 T lemon juice
2 T chopped parsley

Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry.  Pour the flour on a plate or in a shallow bowl and dredge the chops in the flour.  Shake off the excess flour.  Put the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  When the butter melts and begins to bubble, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add the chops to the pan in a single layer.

Strew the lemon slices on top of the chops then drop the peperoncini between them.  Cook the chops slowly for about 20 minutes turning every 5 minutes.

When the chops are lightly browned, add the capers to the pan.  Give the pan a shake, then add the wine and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil and taste the sauce for salt.  Cook for about 10 more minutes turning the chops occasionally.  Sprinkle the parsley all over, turn the chops one last time.  Serve the chops with some of the sauce poured on top.

Cauliflower and Potato Salad (Insalata di Cavolfiori e Patate)
adapted from Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy

I small head cauliflower
4 small russet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds) washed but not peeled
1 1/2 bunches green onions, white and some of the green, sliced in half lengthwise, then chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 hard cooked eggs, quartered

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.  

Cut the cauliflower int 1-inch florets.  Add to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Lift from the water and drain well in a colander.  When cool, place in a wide deep bowl.

Return the water to a boil and add the potatoes.  Cook for about 25 minutes until a sharp knife easily pierces the center.  Drain and peel while still warm.  Cut into 1 inch cubes and add to the cauliflower along with the scallions.  Season with 1 tsp of the salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Toss.

Whisk the vinegar with the remaining 1 tsp salt in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Pour about 3/4 of the dressing over the vegetables and taste.  Add more dressing as necessary.  Scatter the eggs over the vegetables and gently toss.  Serve warm or at room temperature.