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This week I’ve been pan-frying things, with coffee on my mind!  Here in the Northeast, we appear to be in full summer.  You know, after our 15 minutes of Spring, and I finally gave in and kicked on the A/C…A/C is a is probably one of the greatest inventions of our time.  It’s a big thing with The Goddess.  However, being the Northeast, we may still have a killing frost; one never knows.  I tell you, The Goddess loves living on the edge!  Anyway, pan-frying is just a good thing to know how to do and do well.  It’s pretty much all about a heavy pan and heat control.  I know I could grill all of this and not heat up the kitchen, but heating the grill up for 1 or 2 pork chops seems a bit ridiculous, so I pan-fry.  I’ve been using the coffee rub  and the Lapsang Souchong tea in numerous ways this week, and this pork chop seemed like a good option for the coffee rub.  Then, since coffee is always on my mind—it’s barely 10 a.m. and I’m just starting my 3rd mug…you drink water; I drink coffee—I thought a Red Eye Gravy-type, Sauce might work well.  And in fact, it did.  Every now and again, a plan comes together…

Pan-Fried Pork Chop(s) with Red Eye Sauce

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: Easy Enough
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  • 2 (8-10-ounce) pork chops, 3/4-inch thick (I like the rib, but that’s up to you)
  • Dry rub of choice (I used my coffee rub)
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil
  • Olive oil for frying (optional)
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 roasted garlic cloves, mashed into the onions
  • 1/2 cup strong-brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoon coarsely chopped/broken pecans (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon crumbled bacon bits (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon crush pink peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Rub the pork chop(s), on both sides, with the dry rub; wrap tightly and store in the fridge for 12-24 hours.  When ready to prepare, remove the chops from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Heat a heavy skillet (I use cast iron), over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the oil.  Place the chop(s) in the skillet and pan-fry for about 3 minutes.  Turn the chop(s), adding additional oil, if needed.  Leave the chop(s) alone and pan-fry on the second side for 2 minutes.  Lower the heat, partially cover and continue to cook until and instant read thermometer registers 145°F, about 6-8 minutes (or after turning them, you can put the skillet, with the chops, uncovered, in a preheated 400°F oven for about the same amount of time).  Remove the chop(s) from the pan, cover loosely and set aside for 6-8 minutes.  Do NOT omit this resting period.

While the chop(s) rests, over medium-high heat, add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until slightly limp.  Stir in the mashed roasted garlic, the coffee, broth and wine.  Simmer until reduced by about half.  Add the pecans and bacon bits, if using and the crushed peppercorns and mustard.  Stir until well combined.  Pour the sauce over or under the chops, to serve.

NOTE:  This recipe is for 1-2 people.  If you are only cooking 1 chop, use the same amount of sauce ingredients.  If you are cooking four chops (for 4 people), double the sauce recipe.  If you want a smoother sauce, omit the pecans and bacon, or sprinkle them over the pork as a garnish.  They add terrific texture and flavor.  If you have time and the inclination, brine the pork chops for 30 minutes to 24 hours.  Remove the chops from the brine at least 12 hours ahead, rub with dry rub of choice and continue with the recipe.

Pan-Fried Pork Chop(s) with Red Eye Sauce Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015.  All rights reserved.

023The main reason to not grill these, is the pan-drippings (or fond—on the upper right in the picture) you will have in the skillet to make the Red Eye Sauce.  The sauce will still be very good if you just make it in a pan, but those drippings will supply that ever-important layering of flavors.  You’ll hear The Goddess drone about layering flavors until you’ll want to beat her to death with a heavy wooden spoon.  030You can see the pink peppercorns in there.  I am loving pink peppercorns.  They add such an interesting flavor and they worked very well with the coffee.  You may add heavy cream to the sauce, but I didn’t think it was needed and I liked it just fine without, though less rich…then you can have dessert without guilt!

I fried a potato and broiled a nectarine (sprinkled with, you guessed it, coffee rub!) in my toaster oven, then pan-fried the pork chop in the same cast iron skillet I cooked the potatoes in.  I had this dinner on the table in 30 minutes and with very little hovering and without heating up the kitchen too much!  Bring on the summer, baby…I’m pan-frying!