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With a distinctive chill in the air, yesterday seemed to be a harbinger of fall. In fact, it was so chilly last night, that we took supper indoors for the first time since May. Fortunately, earlier in the day, I had found a recipe for Tuscan pork chops on John Fodera’s blog, Tuscan Vines, that I was planning to prepare later this year, but with the change in weather, I decided to prepare it now.

John’s recipe tops thick grilled pork chops with what is essentially a marmalade of caramelized onions spiked with some hot chili peppers. The hardest part of the preparation is waiting for the sliced onions to transform into their caramelized goodness and being tantalized by their sweet aroma.

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The caramelized onions

I followed the recipe pretty closely, halving the quantities as I was preparing for two. However, I chose to simmer the onions covered for the first 30 minutes of cooking and then browned them uncovered for the last 20 minutes or so. I also toned down the heat using only one chili pepper and I added a teaspoon or so of a thick balsamic vinegar to lend some acidity and complement the sweetness of the sauce.

Chops on the grill

Chops on the grill

If you’re entertaining, you can easily prepare the onions ahead of time and then reheat them gently as you cook the chops. But do not try to rush the onions, otherwise they will taste more burnt than caramelized.

The onions would also make a great topping for steaks, chicken, or even bruschetta.

Wine Pairing: Sangiovese

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