Recipe 7.3: Pork Chops with Zucchini Fritters and Roasted Beet Salad
Jason makes a mean pork tenderloin and his pork chops are no laughing matter either. Part of what makes them so good is his pork rub, which he won't allow me to share in entirety on here, but he did let me post the ingredients! Check out what he uses in his rub here (scroll to the bottom of the page)! If you're feeling adventurous, go for the homemade rub! If you're not, you can always buy a pre-made rub at the grocery.
I paired the pork with the zucchini fritters and roasted beet salad, both of which are amazing. We have decided that this is one of our favorite ways to eat beets (check out the amazing nutritional properties of beets here), and as for the fritters - these are not only a great side dish but also an awesome appetizer! Make a double or triple batch and serve them with homemade ranch dressing: seriously tasty!
3 tbs. olive oil, divided
1 tbs. kosher salt
¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola
sliced red onion, to taste
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ cup flour
4 pork chops
¼ cup pork rub
2 tbs. canola oil
¼ cup barbecue sauce, optional
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut off root and stem of beets and scrub beets thoroughly. Wrap each beet in foil, then place on baking sheet. Roast beets in oven for 40-60 minutes, depending on size of beets. (I had three larger beets, so I roasted them for about 60 minutes total. They were perfect.)
Meanwhile, prep zucchini fritters. Peel zucchini and slice off stem ends, then grate into a colander using the large holes in a box grater. Season with salt and let sit in sink for 10 minutes (the salt will draw water out of the zucchini). In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, salt, garlic, and pepper. Use paper towels to squeeze the water out of the zucchini, then add to egg mixture. Whisk to combine, then add flour. Whisk to combine. Let sit while you start the pork.
Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add canola oil. Make sure the pan and oil are super hot before you add the pork. You are not cooking the pork through on the stove; your goal is just to sear it and to give the pork a nice crust by caramelizing the sugar and searing the meat. Sear for two minutes, then flip and put immediately into the oven for 6 minutes. (Put the entire skillet in the oven. If you're not sure if your skillet's handle is heatproof, then wrap it in aluminum before it goes in.) Remove from oven and tent in foil. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
While pork cooks, heat another medium skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbs. olive oil to pan and heat. Drop zucchini batter into pan, one spoonful at a time, and press with the back of spoon to flatten. Allow to brown, then flip, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and rest on a baking sheet. Repeat until all fritters are cooked, then place into still hot oven (leave the door open so it doesn't get too hot) to sit until it is time to serve.
While pork rests, remove beets from oven. Unwrap and slice each beet in half so it can begin to cool before you cut it. Peel skin from beets (see directions for peeling and cutting here) and cut into small chunks, then plate. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with gorgonzola. Lay sliced red onion on top.
Plate one pork chop and two zucchini fritters on each plate. Serve with a small side of warm barbecue sauce for dipping, if you like.