Adapted from: Alexandra’s Kitchen
Serves as many as you’d like
I made these excited for the pork chops. Don’t get me wrong, the pork chops were great: there’s not many things more satisfying than cooking meat in a cast-iron skillet with a lot of butter, and they tasted fab. But LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS SALSA. It’s not really salsa. There aren’t any tomatoes, and it tastes absolutely nothing like salsa. Don’t be disappointed, though: this stuff is addicting. It seems kind of fussy because there’s like twenty thousand different ingredients, some of which are kinda obscure, like anchovies and capers, but just trust the recipe. Trust it. Everything comes together and makes for a really unique flavor. I’m trying to think of a way to describe it… I guess you could say it’s salty (anchovies and capers), a little bitter, rich (from the olive oil) toasty (from the breadcrumbs), crunchy, and fresh (from all the herbs and raw shallot). Put it on the pork. Put it on chicken and steak. Dip bread in it. Eat it straight. Bathe in it.
-Roasted garlic (very simple: grab a head of garlic, peel away the papery outside skin–just leave the outsides of the actual cloves–drizzle with olive oil, wrap in tinfoil, and bake at 400F for 40 minutes)
-Salt and pepper
-1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
-1 shallot, finely minced
-1.5 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
-1/2 cup chopped parsley
-1 tablespoon chopped thyme or sage
-1 tablespoon capers, drained and minced
-2 anchovies, (salt-packed or oil-packed) cleaned and chopped
For the salsa: Heat a medium (or large if you are making a double batch) skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil starts looking hot, add the bread crumbs and a pinch of kosher salt and turn the heat down to medium. Stir frequently until the pan starts to cool down and the bread crumbs are toasting evenly. Toast until golden all over. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place minced shallots in a small bowl and cover with the vinegar. Let stand for at least 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, stir together the oil, chopped herbs, minced capers and minced anchovies.
Just before serving, add the toasted bread crumbs and macerated shallots to the bowl of oil and herbs. Stir to combine.
For the pork chops: Add a good amount of butter to a cast-iron skillet, along with some of the roasted garlic cloves (add based on feel–I used 5 or 6 cloves for 4 pork chops) and place over medium-high heat. Once the butter is sizzling hot, add the pork chops to the pan (as many as can fit in one layer). Sear for 5 minutes without touching the pork chops to get a nice crusty exterior (you may want to lift one up with your tongs 3 or 4 minutes in just to check that they’re not burning, because cast-iron can get really hot, really fast). After five minutes, flip the chops. Watch the pan carefully. Lift it off the stove or turn the heat down if it’s getting too hot–you want to sear, not burn. After 3 minutes on the other side, add some more butter to the pan, and turn the temperature down to medium-low. Tip the pan to one side so the liquified butter gathers and use a spoon to toss the delicious roasted garlic-y melted butter overtop the pork chops a few times (this is called basting). After about 2 to 4 minutes, the chops should be done.
Top the pork chops with the breadcrumb salsa and enjoy.