Citrus-and-Spice Pork Chops
Who says vinaigrettes are only for salads?
Why This Recipe Works
Pork chops make a quick and simple weeknight supper but can be dull. To punch up their flavor, we turned to a citrus vinaigrette: Splashed over the seared meat, it delivered vibrant citrus flavor without clobbering the pork's sweet nuances. A small amount did the trick; extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest made it bright yet balanced while a bit of orange zest and sugar added a subtle floral brightness and sweetness to temper any sour edges. Fresh mint added a summery note, and thyme, shallot, and Dijon rounded out the vinaigrette with savory flavor. The ½-inch-thick chops cooked so quickly in the skillet that they didn't brown much; sprinkling the chops with sugar boosted flavorful browning, and dashes of aromatic cinnamon and savory cumin added complexity and depth. The final touch? A tiny bit of ground cloves enhanced the enticing floral orange notes (cloves and orange are old friends—think oranges studded with whole cloves at Christmastime).