Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Garlic & Lemon Pan Fried Pork Loin Chops with Roasted Asparagus and Potatoes


     There is nothing like a beautiful warm day to make you want to cook with fresh garden inspired flavors! Things like my homemade garlic and lemon marinade for the meat and fresh spring asparagus remind me that change is in the air--and in my kitchen! (I'm already anxiously awaiting for the Farmer's Market to open!)

     My favorite flavors, and ones I keep on hand, for marinade include freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest, minced garlic, fruity extra virgin olive oil, and herbs.  Simply perfect... Mediterranean inspired flavors that boast health and incredible flavor!  So, when I got a break at work today I ran home and whipped up the quick marinade for my thin cut pork loin chops.  I like this cut of meat because it's quite lean for pork, and because it's so thin it cooks up quickly for a week night meal.  I dusted them in a light coating of seasoned flour and pan fried in my trusty cast iron skillet.  Awe, the pork turns out so crispy and golden brown on the outside, while staying incredibly juicy and bursting with bright lemon and garlic flavor in the inside!  Yes. I get excited about food. (If you haven't already noticed.)

     I thought asparagus would go perfectly with this.  My favorite way to have asparagus is to simply roast it on high heat with olive oil, kosher or sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Delicious and so easy to prepare.  For the roasted potatoes, I basically do the same thing.  Tonight I added some delicious Herb de Provence to keep with the Mediterranean flair.  Sometimes I like seasoning my potatoes with garlic and parmesan cheese, and other times cajun seasoning for more of a seasoned French fry  that goes perfectly with grilled burgers!  They're all so good and easy.  I usually always leave the skins on the potatoes when I roast them because they are full of fiber and get crispy in the oven, but the skin on this particular potato didn't look good so I peeled it instead.  
     This meal is quick enough for a weeknight meal, and yet good enough for the weekend!  Try preparing meals with in-season vegetables and fruits, and your food will always taste better!  What are you seasonally cooking this Spring? 

Garlic and Lemon Pan Fried Pork Loin Chops

1 lemon

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. (approx) Herb de Provence or Italian Seasoning
(Or any fresh you have, for that matter:)

kosher or sea salt 

freshly ground black pepper

extra virgin olive oil

4 thin pork loin chops

1/2 c. flour

Mix first 5 ingredients together and while stirring, slowly pour in olive oil.  Add enough to about double the amount of marinade. (Approx. 1:2 ratio of lemon juice to olive oil) Stir together well.  

Place loin chops in a large freezer bag and add marinade.  Smoosh all together to completely saturate the pork.  Put in the fridge and allow to marinate for 4-8 hours. That is plenty of time for how this thin cut of meat.

Over medium high heat, add about 3 swirls around the pan of oil in a large cast iron skillet.
Take pork out of the bag and discard bag and extra marinade.  Wipe off the pork with a paper towel to get the excess marinate off.  (Too much moisture on meat won't allow it to brown properly.)  Lightly dredge pork through flour (you have seasoned with salt and pepper), tapping off excess flour.  Place in hot pan for about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.  

Take out and place on paper towels to drain.  Serve with roasted asparagus and potatoes.

Roasted Asparagus and Potatoes

Set your oven to 425 degrees.

Although I bake them in separate pans, I season basically the same way.
Toss freshly washed trimmed asparagus and chopped potatoes in a bit of extra virgin olive oil. You may want to add the oil gradually so you don't get too much.  You don't want the veggies swimming in it, by all means! Season very well (especially potatoes) with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  (That is all I usually do with the asparagus, although I have been known to also add some chopped garlic.)  With the potatoes I also added some Herb de Provence to compliment the pork.  Toss together well.

Roast in a shallow baking dish, lined in aluminum foil for about 25- 30 minutes or so. The potatoes will take a little longer than the asparagus, although we do like our asparagus on the crispy side.  If you want your potatoes to brown well and get crispy, do not crowd the pan.  ( I did this in a hurry tonight and that's why they aren't that pretty---but just as tasty!)

I'm linking this to Kim at Savvy Southern Style


Martha said...

Looks delicious!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Oh, my this looks so good. I will have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it at WUW.

Leslie said...

Thank you, Friends!

I like the way frying in my cast iron skillet makes my house smell like my Granny's country kitchen. There's something special about a meal that tastes like good memories!

Mary said...

Leslie, this is a wonderful meal and the pork chops sound fabulous. This is my first visit to your site and I've been browsing through your earlier entries. I'm so glad I did that. You've created a wonderful spot for your readers to enjoy. I loved my visit and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Anonymous said...

I've just tried this today, and it was the best thing that has ever came out of my cooking pan. Thank you for sharing! My boyfriend and I love it!