It was a long time before I could ever bring myself to buy pork chops in the grocery store. I mean like YEARS. Let me explain… when we were kids, Mom worked at night. Many days I was responsible for our evening culinary delights (for awhile that meant mac ‘n’ cheese out of the box and some frozen broccoli that i waaaay overcooked- I was 10 or 11 so give me a break), but sometimes my dad would get home early. If Dad was cooking he would always stop at the grocery store for some protein and would usually show up with pork chops because they’re affordable (5 kids = lots of $$groceries$$). The problem was that my dad had no idea how to cook. Anything. At all.
So Dad would come home with these pork chops, douse them in cream of mushroom soup, and bake them in a preheated oven to mushified perfection (NO. This is not today’s recipe). My dad’s pork chops were this gray color that no food should ever be, and when the mushroom soup cooled off it combined with the pork fat into this gelatinous goo (and we totally ate it). I’m not so sure my sisters have ever recovered from the pork chop fiascos of our youth, but in honor of our dad’s gallant efforts in the kitchen, I submit this recipe to you. Come on sisters… give pork a chance.
First we gotta make pico. Yup. Pico de Gallo. So dice some roma tomatoes (you can use other varieties, but these really hold up the best).
And some red onions…
And then some cilantro.
Pico De Gallo
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 a medium sized red onion, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (just so you know, I don’t actually measure this I just kinda throw it in till it looks pretty. But for you I got out the measuring spoon)
jalapeno pepper finely chopped, add to your taste (I left it out this time because I really didn’t feel like going to the grocery store in the rain)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
a pinch of cumin (optional)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I am partial to canola oil for this)
Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Dang that was easy.
Then take your pork chops and season them with black pepper and cumin. Throw a little oil in the skillet and brown the pork chops on both sides.
Throw the pico de gallo on top of the pork chops. You need at least one cup of pico… I just save some for chips and throw the rest in the pan.
Add a can of black beans (including the liquid) and chopped cilantro.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until pork is to desired tenderness.
I like it over yellow rice. There you go… two recipes in one!
Pico Pork Chops
1- 1/2 pounds (about 6) thinly sliced boneless pork chops
black pepper and cumin to taste
1-1/2 cups fresh pico de gallo
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 can black beans with liquid
1 tablespoon oil
In a large non-stick skillet heat the oil. Season both sides of the pork chops with pepper and cumin. Brown the pork chops over medium high heat. Add pico, black beans and cilantro. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low or medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the pork is cooked all the way through and is tender. Serve over rice or with tortillas or add a salad or just eat it all by itself.