BRAISED PORK CHOPS PIQUANTE (for four)
four 1 inch thick loin pork chops, brined for 2 hours in a solution of ¼ cup salt dissolved into 1 quart (4 cups) cold water
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup finely chopped onions
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
pinch of thyme
½ bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup finely chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Remove the chops from the brine, rinse them under cold running tap water and pat them dry with paper towels. Brown the pork chops on both sides in the butter in a skillet (this should take about 8 minutes). Transfer chops to a platter and keep warm. If there is still a lot of fat in the skillet, pour off most of it off.
3. To the fat remaining in the skillet add the onions and cook briefly, stirring until the onions are wilted. Add the tomato puree, wine, Tabasco sauce, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
4. Return the pork chops to the skillet and turn them in the sauce. Cover, place in the middle of the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, basting occasionally, until chops are fork tender.
5. Mix the parsley, garlic and lemon rind together and sprinkle over the chops.
adapted from Craig Claiborne, The New York Times Cookbook