Here's something exciting: I have a new job! I start in a few weeks. After quite some time of searching and waiting, all of a sudden this popped up and came together so quickly. I've been wanting something with autonomy and the chance to learn new things and this will definitely be both with the added bonus of working from home.
All that excitement surely calls for some delicious food, and since I could potentially have a full-time job that consists of just trying to manage my tomatillo and tomato plants, it only makes sense I'd find a celebratory purpose for them. They are littering my garden like confetti at this point anyway.
Tomatillos are one of my favorite summer foods. They look like little lanterns as they grow and there are so many of them. Lots of people think they're best in salsa, but I think their true calling is something else. Tomatillos are most delicious all roasted up with chicken or pork. It's a secret - shhhh. Let other people use it as salsa. It'll be all the more impressive when you whip this delight up.
These pork chops are a a bit of a process, but they are the perfect summer treat. Brined pork chops stay moist when they're cooked. The sugar carmelizes in the skillet and the masa crust gives them just a bit of a crisp. Add in a tart and creamy sauce, and these hit on just about every flavor I like.
Masa Crusted Pork Chops in Creamy Tomatillo Sauce
4 Pork Chops (I think bone in look prettier, but either will do)
2 Cups Water, Plus 4-5 cups more of ice water
1/2 Cup Salt
1 Tsp Peppercorn
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped roughly
1 Cup Masa Flour (or Corn Meal)
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Serrano Pepper (or half for less spicy)
1/4 Cup Butter
10-15 Tomatillos, roasted under the broiler until skins are browned and crispy
1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Boil together the 2 cups of water with the salt and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Pour into a large bowl or deep pan and add the ice water. Place your pork chops in the brine. Let them sit in the fridge for 6-8 hours.
When you're ready to start, pre-heat your oven to 425. Remove the pork chops, pat dry. Spread the masa out on a plate and dredge your pork chops through them. Melt the butter in the skillet on medium high heat. Place the pork chops in the skillet. It should sizzle. Add the chopped onion and garlic. After about a minute, flip the pork chops. They should have the start of a nice crust on them and the onions should be starting to brown. Place the skillet in the oven, flipping the pork chops every 2 minutes and stirring the onions.
Meanwhile, whirl the tomatillos and serrano peppers in a blender until smooth. After the first pork chop flip, pour the tomatillo sauce into the skillet and mix in. Continue flipping and cooking the pork chops until a meat thermometer reads around 145.
Place the skillet back on the stove (no heat) and remove the porkchops. Pour in the heavy whipping cream and stir together. Pour the sauce over the pork chops.