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Food Network Favorites: Pork Chops Alla Pizzaiola

Very simple to make, and extremely tasty. These pork chops are seared in a hot skillet, and served with a spicy, herby tomato sauce. My only issue: Giada De Laurentiis doesn't seem to allow quite enough cooking time, unless you like rare pork.

I know the US pork supply is nearly trichinella-free these days, but I'm still not comfortable eating pork at an internal temperature lower than 155 degrees.

Here's what happened: As instructed in the recipe, I seared my 1-inch-thick chops for 4 minutes per side, removed them to a plate, made the sauce, returned the chops to the pan, and cooked for 3 more minutes. Then I tested the internal temperature of the chops, and it was 110 degrees. I needed to cook the chops in the sauce for about 6 to 7 more minutes to ensure that they reached an internal temperature of 155 degrees. That's the rarest I want my pork (it's already somewhat lower than the government's recommended temperature of 170 degrees) and it still produces a moist, tasty chop. I've adjusted the recipe to reflect the longer required cooking time.

Other than the cooking time being off, this dish is quite good. Use more red pepper flakes if you like a spicy sauce.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: about 35 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 thick-cut bone-in pork loin center-cut chops, about 1 inch thick (about 12 oz. each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced
15-oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
1 tsp herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp (or more, if desired) crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until they are well browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm.

Add the onion to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, herbes de Provence, and 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend and the juices thicken slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and more red pepper to taste, if desired.

Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Turn the pork chops to coat them with the sauce, and cook for another 6 to 7 minutes, or until the internal temperature is at least 155 degrees. Place 1 chop on each plate and spoon the sauce over it. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.



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