Pork Chops with Crispy Pancetta and Smoky Fried Green Tomatoes

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Ingredients

Pork Chops

  • 1 pound pancetta, roughly diced into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 center cut pork chops, about 2 1/2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

Tomatoes

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons TABASCO® brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce
  • 2 cups finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large (or 3 medium) green tomatoes, cored & sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 gallon canola or vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste

Sauce

Preparation

Prepare pork chops: Preheat oven to 400°F. In a food processor, combine pancetta, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Pulse until finely ground and reserve.

Liberally season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large oven-ready skillet or grill pan on high, heat the canola oil. Sear pork chops for about 2 minutes on each side. Place pan in oven for about 5-6 minutes, or until pork chops are still slightly pink in the middle.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add pancetta mixture, stirring constantly to break up any large chunks. Continue cooking pancetta until fat is completely rendered and pancetta is crispy. Set fat and pancetta aside.

Prepare tomatoes: In a medium bowl, beat eggs with TABASCO® Chipotle Sauce; set aside. In another bowl, mix cornmeal and salt. Place flour in a third bowl. Dip slices of tomato, one at a time, into flour, then egg, and finally cornmeal. Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment.

In a large saucepot fitted with a thermometer, heat canola oil over medium until oil reaches 350°F. Using tongs, place tomatoes in oil 2 to 3 at a time and fry until golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately sprinkle with salt.

Prepare the sauce: In a blender combine tomato, garlic, TABASCO® Chipotle Sauce and vinegar. Blend until completely smooth. Slowly add in olive oil until mixture begins to change color and emulsify. Season with salt. Adjust flavor with salt or TABASCO® Chipotle Sauce.

To serve, place pork chop on plate and top with pancetta and rendered fat. Spoon sauce onto plate and place tomatoes on top.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe by Chef Amanda Freitag of Empire Diner in New York City.

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