This post is sponsored by Mezzetta©
When Mezzetta reached out asking for thoughts on the ideal summertime staycation meal, thick cut pork chops were floating around in my thought bubble. I’m a simple kinda guy, the meat & potatoes type, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my meat & potatoes getting gussied up a bit from time to time. So, when Mezzetta asked if there was anything in their product lineup I might be interested in trying, I might have been a bit overzealous in my response, but thankfully they obliged my request by supplying their quality jarred goodies to play with.
When it came to figuring out a sauce that would compliment the pork chops by bringing those bright summertime feels, I quickly landed on a chimichurri. I adore the zesty, herbaceous nature that chimichurri brings to the party, and knowing the delicious quality of Mezzetta’s peppers, it had to be a red chimichurri that I was putting together. The addition of smoked paprika into the sauce reinforces those grilling vibes, and the sauce just compliments the pork chops so well. Of note, chimichurri really needs some time in the refrigerator to mellow out the sharpness, and let all the flavors settle in and meld together.
While butter and potatoes are a quintessential pairing, extra virgin olive oil and potatoes makes for an undervalued flavor duo in my opinion. Roasting the potatoes and garlic gives those wonderful caramelized flavors, while a quick fork crushing keeps things feeling rustic. The addition of the delicious olive brine helps balance out the olive oil with some much needed acidity, while also seasoning the mixture. Folding in the olives in the end helps keep them intact, so you’re left with jewels of olivey goodness in each bite.
Although a wood or coal fired grill is usually preferred for those summertime feels, sometimes the moment is just not right to light up a fire outside, that’s when a quality grill pan comes into its own. Cast iron heats up evenly and retains that heat for a long time, giving you all that maillard reaction, browned, meaty goodness. The grill slats allow the fat to drip away from the pork as it cooks, and the advantage of the pan is that you can wilt the chard in the pan with the drippings as your pork chops are resting, letting the chard take on some of that porky flavor.
Whether pork chops end up in your thought bubbles as often as they do mine, creating delicious sides with Mezzetta’s jarred goodies will help whatever protein (or non-meat based main) ends up on your grill this summer. However or whatever you cook, Mezzetta is sure to bring some much needed oomph to the party. Keep cooking for your loved ones, and enjoy the summer staycation as best as you can.
|1/2||Jar (16oz jar)||Roasted red bell peppers||Drained|
|6||Each||Sweet cherry peppers||Destemmed|
|1||Tablespoon||Cherry pepper brine|
|4||Tablespoons||Red wine vinegar|
|4||Tablespoons||Extra virgin olive oil|
|1/2||Bunch||Fresh flat leaf parsley||Leaves destemmed|
|2||Tablespoons||Fresh oregano||Leaves destemmed|
In the bowl of a food processor, add garlic cloves and garlic, pulse till garlic is finely chopped. Add peppers, capers, pepper brine, vinegar and smoked paprika to the processor and blend together. Slowly add olive oil in a steady stream as the food processor runs to emulsify the mixture.
Roughly chop the parsley and oregano leaves with a knife, then place into the processor with the mixture. Pulse a few times to incorporate the herbs.
Season to taste.
Remove the mixture into a container and place in the refrigerator for an hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
Olive Oil Crushed Potatoes
|1||Lbs||Baby potatoes||White & Red mix|
|3||Cloves||Garlic||Peeled & Crushed|
|1||Tablespoon||Extra virgin olive oil|
|1/2||Teaspoon||Spanish olive brine|
|1/2||Teaspoon||Kalamata olive brine|
|5||Tablespoons||Extra virgin olive oil|
Preheat an oven to 350F. Mix the potatoes, garlic and 1tbls oil, then spread out on a sheet pan. Season and roast for 30-35min.
Remove from the oven and move the contents into a mixing bowl. With the backside of a fork, roughly crush the potatoes against the sides of the mixing bowl. Mix in remaining olive oil and olive brines into the potatoes, then fold in olives.
Season to taste.
|2||Each||Bone-in pork chop (1inch thick)|
Preheat a grill pan over med-high. Put a light coat of oil on the pork chops and season.
Place chops into the hot pan, reduce the heat to medium. Cook chops for 5min, flip and cook for another 5min or until they’ve reached the desired doneness.
Take the chops out of the pan and let them rest as you continue on to cook the chard.
After the pork chops come out of the grill pan to rest, toss the chopped chard into the pan. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes, or until the chard is slightly wilted. Season to taste.
Place a large spoonful of the potatoes down on the plate. Lay the pork chop down, allowing the curve of the bone to naturally cradle the potatoes. Place the wilted chard adjacent to the potatoes, and spoon the chimichurri liberally over the pork chop.
Serve and enjoy.