Giardiniera aioli and Cumin coriander pork chops
A cumin and coriander spice rub adds big flavor without heat to pan-seared pork chops; this lively, vinegary, fiery (or not) giardiniera aioli is great with pork, fish, chicken, or tofu.
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2-1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oilSkip to next paragraph
Terry Boyd is the author of Blue Kitchen, a Chicago-based food blog for home cooks. His simple, eclectic cooking focuses on fresh ingredients, big flavors and a cheerful willingness to borrow ideas and techniques from all over the world. A frequent contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times, his recipes have also appeared on the Bon Appétit and Saveur websites.
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Combine drained giardiniera and egg yolk in blender and purée until smooth, scraping down the sides of the jar with a spatula as necessary. Combine oils in a measuring cup. Drizzle oil slowly into running blender, a little at a time, again scraping down the sides as needed. Blend until oil is emulsified in giardiniera mixture and creamy. If you want it slightly thinner, add a little more oil.
Can be made ahead and refrigerated. If you do so, be sure to bring it out of the fridge before you need it, so it can come to room temperature and reach the right consistency.
Cumin coriander pork chops
1 tablespoon cumin seeds (or 1 tablespoon cumin powder)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (or 1 tablespoon coriander powder)
4 bone-in pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, about 8 ounces each
coarse kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
giardiniera aioli (see above)
If you’re working with whole cumin and coriander seeds, place them in a dry, cold nonstick skillet and toast them over a medium-low flame. Shaking the skillet frequently, toast seeds until they’re fragrant and beginning to pop, three to five minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. When completely cool, grind in a spice grinder. Set aside. (If you’re working with ground spices, simply combine them in a bowl.)
Arrange chops on a plate. Season on both sides with half the cumin/coriander spice mix and a generous coating of kosher salt (use a heavy hand – you’ll wash it off later). Let the chops rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Rinse under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
Season chops with the remaining cumin/coriander mix and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a skillet large enough to hold chops in a single layer over medium-high flame. Add enough oil to coat bottom of the pan. When oil is shimmering, add chops. Cook about four minutes per side, or until an instant read thermometer registers at least 145 degrees F. Plate chops and top with a dollop of aioli. Serve. Pass additional aioli at the table.
Spicy? Not spicy? We’re big fans of a little heat. As such, we heartily recommend using hot giardiniera. But if heat is a deal breaker, use mild giardiniera – you’ll get the wonderful flavor without the pain.
Oily? Not oily? Traditional giardiniera is packed in oil and vinegar. Often, though, we’ll seek out the variety packed in water and vinegar instead, to save some calories. This version needs the oil-packed version. Even when you drain it, there will be some residual oil; it adds to the smooth creaminess of the aioli. Residual water would fight the creamy texture.
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Related post on Blue Kitchen: Miso braised pork shoulder
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