Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tuscan-Style Grilled Pork Chops with Tomato-Caper Sauce

I think Italian cuisine is one of the best (if not the best) at bringing the most flavors to a dish with the fewest—and simplest—ingredients. This recipe is an example. It was inspired by a variety of Tuscan-style dishes that highlight fresh herbs, a little oil and vinegar, and, of course, garlic.

The key here is marinating the grilled pork chops after they’ve cooked. Make a simple oil-vinegar dressing loaded with herbs and garlic, pour it on a platter, and turn the grilled chops in it before serving. The flavor goes straight to the plate.

I included an easy fresh tomato and caper sauce—with more garlic—to spoon over the marinated chops. Again, few ingredients, simple preparation, extraordinary flavor.

Serves 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for rubbing and drizzling
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 tbsp capers, drained
  • sea salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 8-oz bone-in pork loin chops, about 1 inch thick
Marinade and Sauce Ingredients 
Bone-In Loin Chops
  1. Light a grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon vinegar, sage, rosemary, and half the garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the remaining half of the garlic and sauté 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and capers and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens, 5-6 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley and remaining 1 teaspoon vinegar. Re-warm gently just before using.
Herb Mixture
Garlic in Oil
Tomato Mixture Beginning to Cook
Cooked Tomato Mixture
Tomato-Caper Sauce
  1. Rub the pork chops with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill 5 minutes.
  2. Turn and grill 4-5 minutes longer, or until done.
  3. Pour the oil-vinegar mixture onto a platter. Transfer the chops to the platter and turn to coat in the mixture.
Chops Ready to Grill 
Chops Beginning to Grill
Grilled Chops
Herb Mixture Ready for Chops
Chops Turned in Marinade
Spoon a little tomato-caper sauce over each and serve right away.

Tuscan-Style Grilled Pork Chops with Tomato-Caper Sauce

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