Pork Chop with Romesco and Creamy Polenta

October 20, 2016
Pork, Fall

Spanish Spice Rubbed Pork Chop with Polenta and Romesco
Serves: 4

Romesco
Olive oil
3 large roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped (or use piquillo peppers), drained and patted dry
1/3 cup marcona almonds
Ciabatta bread, cut into small cubes
¼ cup golden raisins, soaked in water and drained
2 ancho chiles, soaked in hot water, drained, stems and seeds removed
4 plum tomatoes
5 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Honey
2 teaspoons harissa paste
2 teaspoons calabrian chile puree
Kosher salt and freshly gorund pepper

1.Heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add peppers, cook until lightly golden brown, remove to the bowl of a food processor. Add more oil, fry the almonds until golden brown, remove with slotted spoon to food processor bowl with peppers. Continue frying each ingredient separately and adding to the bowl up until the garlic cloves.
2. Add the vinegar, honey harissa and calabrian chile paste and process until smooth. Add more olive oil if needed and season with salt and pepper.

Polenta
3 cups homemade chicken stock or mushroom stock or low sodium canned chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup medium grind polenta
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
½ cup romesco sauce, recipe above
Freshly ground black pepper

1.Bring stock and milk to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat, add the salt. Slowly whisk in the polenta and continue whisking until it begins to thicken. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until thickened and soft, about 25 minutes, adding more stock or milk if needed.
2. Remove from heat, stir in the cheese and fold in 1/2 cup of the romesco.

Gremolata
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped to a paste
Olive oil
Finely grated zest of lemon
Finely grated zest of orange
Kosher salt and pepper

Combine in a bowl and season with salt and pepper

Spice Rubbed Pork
3 tablespoons Spanish paprika
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons ground dry mustard
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 ½ tablespoons ground fennel

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
4 center cut pork chops, at least 1--inch thick, 8 to 10-ounces each
Chervil or parsley leaves, for garnish
*Chive oil, for garnish

1.Combine the spices in a small bowl. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Season the pork on both sides with salt and pepper and rub one side with the spice rub.
2. Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in the pan over high heat until almost smoking. Put the pork in the pan, rub side down and cook until a crust forms, about 4 minutes. Turn over, reduce heat and continue cooking to medium-well doneness, about 5 minutes longer. If pork is thick, finish in a 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

3.Plate and garnish with gremolata, chive oil and chervil

To make chive oil: combine 1 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives in a blender, add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain the oil through a find mesh strainer into a bowl.