Pork chop vinegar pep

Pork chops with vinegar peppers is a classic Tri-State Area Italian-American dish (maybe they have it in the rest of America – I don’t know). The key is to use the hot little cherry peppers they make in New Jersey (referenced in an earlier food post), and, according to a recipe found on Google, to cook the chops in a half-cup of the pickling liquid from the cherry pepper jar. And I think it’s right.

If you do this at home, it’s almost always gonna be better than what you get at a restaurant, where they always cook pork chops to dryness to avoid health scare type problems. Pork chops are difficult, at least modern, lean varieties: they go from undercooked and raw to overcooked and dry in about 30 seconds, and you have to identify that precise moment to take them out. That said, if you follow the recipe linked above, you’ll definitely end up with raw chops unless you have unusually thin ones (like a half-inch). Mine were an inch and required 4-5 minutes a side and then 4-5 minutes with the pepper pickling liquid and the top on. I grabbed them at more or less the right time, and they were delicious. Served with white rice (for the sauce) and brussel sprouts.

Full respect to Chris Lombardi, who gave me the idea to cook this tonight.