Milanesa de Cerdo con Calabacitas
Pork Chops Milanese-Style with Zucchini Corn Hatch Chile Medley
Salsa Roja, Mexican Crema, Cotija Cheese, Cilantro
Milanesa and Calabacitas are paired to create a flavorful, colorful and satisfying dish that brings together the vibrant tastes of Latin American cuisine. It’s served over Salsa Roja, a taqueria style creamy-spicy sauce made from red jalapeño peppers that is swirled with cooling Mexican crema. As a final touch, the tang of Cotija cheese imparts robust and salty notes, where herby cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime make the dish sing.
Milanesa de Cerdo, also known simply as “Milanesa,” is an Argentine dish consisting of breaded and fried pork meat. Its crispy exterior and tender juicy interior make for a popular preparation that has been adopted in various Latin American countries.
Calabacitas is a traditional Mexican dish that highlights the natural goodness of zucchini and fresh corn. The name itself, “Calabacitas,” translates to “little squashes” in Spanish. The basic components include sliced zucchini, corn, and onions that are are sautéed together with garlic, chilies, cumin and oregano added to enhance the flavor profile.
Milanesa de Cerdo con Calabacitas
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🐖 Grilled Pork Chop 🐖
🍒 Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Demi-Glace 🍒
🥬 Baby Bok Choy 🥬
The inspiration for this dish came from a new restaurant in my old stompin’ grounds. If I were still living in LA, I would definitely be dining down at the Port of Los Angeles regularly as Chef Dustin Trani’s food is fabulous!
Trani’s Dockside Station posted a mouthwatering image of their “Tomahawk Pork Chop with a Cherry Demi-Glaze” on Instagram. Having pork chops in the refrigerator, it took but a second to decide to make my own version here in Las Vegas. I also had a jar of Luxardo Maraschino Cherries and bottle of Luxardo Liqueur in my bar, and veal demi-glace in the pantry.
Luxardo Maraschino is a liqueur distilled in Italy from the leaves, pits, stems and skins of sour marasca cherries. It is not overly sweet and has an almond-like, subtly bitter complex cherry flavor. Luxardo Cherries are candied cherries soaked in Luxardo marasca cherry syrup, and they are sweet. I add a small amount of all three of these components to veal demi-glace just before serving to make an intriguing sauce for the smoky tender pork chops. And the no-brainer pairing for this dish was a merlot, seductive & velvety, iconic Duckhorn Merlot.
The meal was delightful. Thanks for the inspiration, Chef! Best wishes for super success with your new place!
(Read more about the Chef and my interpretation of another of his wonderful dishes exactly a decade ago, “Truffle Scented Tortellini, Veal Reduction” here).
Grilled Pork Chop, Luxardo Cherry Demi-Glace Recipe
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One Pound duBreton Pork Chop
Pink Peppercorn Sauce, Fried Sage
Those who are familiar with San Pedro, our charming seaside corner of Los Angeles, know we are blessed with several beautiful feathery peppertrees that line our quaint streets. Recently, I harvested a bunch peppercorns for a still life photography session.
Now what to do with this cornucopia of pink peppercorns? Pink peppercorn brine and pink peppercorn sauce were paired with gorgeous one pound duBreton pork chops.
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Pork Chops Rubbed with Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Dry Mustard
Over Fresh Corn & Fire-Roasted Hatch Chile
Pickled Okra Garnish
Growers say that the intense sunlight and cool nights in this valley result in a uniquely flavored chile. They have been roasting up a storm in Hatch, New Mexico. Unlike other chiles, those grown in Hatch are only available for about 6 weeks each year during the months of August and September, and only as long as the fresh chile supply holds out. Hatch chiles range in spiciness from mild to very hot, choose the type that suits your palate!
Since we are sadly at the tail end of the Hatch season this year you’ve got to hurry to make smoky pork chops with fresh Hatch chiles. Luckily Anaheim, New Mexico, poblano chiles or even frozen Hatch chiles can be substituted in this recipe. But try remember to look for Hatch chiles next growing season, their flavor is really extraordinary…
Smoky Pork Chops Recipe
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Old School Style
Thick Bone-In Pork Chops
Pickled Sweet Cherry Pepper & Garlic Sauce
I remember these pickled sweet cherry peppers from my childhood. They’re slightly tart and mildly spicy. In the ’60s, my mom would serve them on her relish tray. When I saw this recipe for pork chops topped with cherry peppers at Saveur here, I thought of my dad. That very evening I picked up a jar of peppers and stopped at the butcher shop on the way home from work. The recipe comes from Bamonte’s Italian-American restaurant in Brooklyn, NY and has been a favorite on their menu since the 1950s. Bamonte’s is one of Saveur’s TOP 100 in the Travel Edition, chronicling the greatest gustatory hits of journeys abroad and close to home. They say, “Each one is worth going out of your way for.”
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