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Let me start by saying I do not advocate a 10pm dinner. It is, among other things, an unpleasant thing to have to clean up, when you’d rather be watching Modern Family on the DVR or contemplating the best outcome of the payroll tax fight. But should such a thing be happening in your life, let me raise the possibility of Paprika Pork Chop.
It is relatively quick, extremely tasty, and completely low maintenance as meat dishes go.
I made a few modifications to this recipe, starting with my bone-in chop, which was not center cut, because the butcher said this does not exist, which I am not certain is true. But this isn’t about him. The key point here is that you want a chop with a bone, about an inch thick.
Not owning a white onion, I went with yellow, and I substituted both the hot paprika and chili powder with an equal amount of Spanish paprika, because I was not in the mood for heat. While your spice rub is sitting on the chops all pretty, get your side going (orzo tonight) and start sautéing those onions. I love when onions start to get soft – it is like the poking up of a crocus, promising something better than whatever happened today.
I pushed my onions to the side of the cast iron pan, and cooked the chops exactly five minutes on each side, using an oven timer so as not to overcook and also to see if that was the proper amount on the stove. It was, at least after sitting another five under foil as instructed.
This was a big hunk of meat, people, and staring at it and feeling a little Fred Flintstone about the whole thing, I suddenly didn’t even feel like eating any orzo. Instead, I simply quietly cut away at my chop, while my husband and I, both exhausted from our various tasks in the broader world that day, could barely mumble at one another about whether or not we had signed up for some event at school, and really wasn’t it so and so’s turn anyway?
Then, we put a little hot water in the pan – because that is truly the only dirty dish you’re making here – ate a blood orange each, and stumbled off to bed.
2 bone-in center cut pork chops, each about 1 inch think
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, sliced thin
By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.
Photo by James Ransom