Last week I was on vacation, but due to my son coming down with a highly contagious strain of the Coxsackie virus, it became a staycation. The upside is I got more time than usually to cook. On one trip to Whole Foods I saw some gorgeous bone-in pork chops on sale. I was in the mood to try something new so I asked the butcher if he had any recommendations. He quickly and enthusiastically offered up the following:
- 4 stalks of celery
- 1 whole red onion, peeled
- 1 whole green pepper, cored
- 2 cloves of garlic (I love garlic so I used 3 cloves)
- half a tomato
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a fairly smooth sauce – not quite liquid.
My new-friend suggested putting a bit of oil in a hot pan, then a bit of sauce and then the pork chops. He also suggested four minutes per side, but the chops were rather thick so I finished them in the oven.
Once the chops were done, I didn’t love the color of the sauce. Don’t get me wrong, the cooked sauce looked OK, but the raw sauce was so beautiful! I wiped the excess sauce from the chops and spread some raw sauce on top when I plated. Unfortunately I neglected to take pictures because it really was a lovely shade of bright green and just looked fresh and beautiful.
So, how did it taste and how was it received? GREAT! My wife was so surprised by the beautiful plate I put in front of her and it was delicious. The flavor was very “fresh” with a little bit of a kick from the onion and garlic.
Two of the great things about this sauce is the quantity the above recipe yields and its versatility. I made the above dish on Wednesday. On Friday I quickly sautéed shrimp and then served it with a bit of the left over sauce. Last night (Tuesday) I used more to repeat the pork chop dinner. And there is sill enough left over for another meal.
While I found the sauce delicious, I’m going to experiment a bit and try swapping out half of the celery for half a peeled cucumber and add some cilantro. Any other ideas for variations on the sauce?