For Tyler Florence Fridays this week I made his Juicy Pork Chops with Black Olive Tapenade. I have been intrigued by his brining techniques that so many of my fellow TFF friends have raved about. It really does make the meat so moist, well worth adding to the regular repertoire.
I went one further and used boneless chops which I stuffed (after the brining) with feta, chopped sundried tomatoes in oil and chives. Totally delicious!
Tyler pairs his chops with roasted veggies, but I had some nice greens and yellow beans in my garden that were ready for eating. I quickly blanched the beans and served them on top of the greens with some tomato wedges (my own tomatoes won't be ready for a few more weeks).
For the salad dressing I made a Caesar-type, in the used blender jar from the tapenade. That way it picked up some of the flavours of the kalamata olives. Yum!
Juicy Pork Chops with Black Olive Tapenade
Tyler's Ultimate, Tyler Florence
2 quarts of water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 bone-in pork chops (1 1/2 inches thick)
Black Olive Tapenade
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove
pinch of chili flakes
small handful of flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon red or white vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Basil leaves or watercress sprigs, for garnish
For the pork, combine the water, sugar, salt and thyme sprigs in a ziplock bag. Add the pork chops, seal the bag and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes, while you make the tapenade.
Put the olives, anchovies, garlic, chili flakes, parsley, vinegar and olive oil in a food processor or blender and process to a coarse puree. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary and set aside.
Preheat your grill to medium-hot. Take a few paper towels and fold them over several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel, then carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill plate to make a non-stick surface.
Take the pork out of the brine and pat it dry. Rub the pork all over with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side, until the chops are well-browned and still rosy in the center and register 140 when tested with a meat thermometer. To serve spoon some vegetables onto the plates and put the pork chops on top. Drizzle with the tapenade and garnish with basil or watercress.
For our optional bonus recipe this month, Megan chose Quinoa Pilaf. We served it with some cute little lamb chops that we grilled with rosemary, olive oil, kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper.
This was a very interesting combination of flavours that we quite enjoyed. I didn't have any preserved lemons so used lemon zest, and my lamb wasn't quite ready when the pilaf was, so the quinoa cooked with the additions for a little bit. I think it turned out very tasty and I was happy to have tried such a unique flavour combination.
As you can see I stuffed it into a ramekin and turned it out. I have a thing for stuffing food into ramekins.
Tyler Florence, Food Network
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon preserved lemon rind, finely diced
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
1/4 cup currants
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
In a small saucepan, combine broth, quinoa, bay leaf, turmeric, salt, pepper and olive oil. Stir in preserved lemon and cover. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat. Add tomato, artichokes, onion, olives and currants, mix well to combine. Top with mint and serve.
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Round-up every Friday, check out the Tyler Florence Fridays site for details.