Happy Hump Day Everyone! This week I am introducing to you a new Chef and a new Recipe. Her name is Amanda Freitag and she is a judge on Chopped and a co-host of American Diner Revival. She also competed for the title of America's Next Iron Chef in 2009. Growing up Amanda also had a passion for food that was passed down by her family, which in turn pushed her to pursue a cooking career. After graduating from culinary school Amanda's first job was in a New York City kitchen as a rotissier and garde manger at Vong under the supervision of Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
In 2008, Amanda took over as the executive chef at The Harrison in Tribeca. Amanda's first cook book "The Chef Next Door: A Pro Chef's Recipes for Fun, Fearless Home Cooking was released in September of this year. When Amanda is NOT in the kitchen she enjoys traveling the world and collecting new menus to add to her collection.This week I will be sharing her "Pork on Pork" recipe, it looks delicious and I can't wait to try it!
Pork On Pork
1 pound pancetta or bacon, cut into small dice
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
3 garlic cloves
4 center-cut pork chops, each about 2 1/2 inches thick
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a food processor, combine the pancetta, thyme, rosemary and garlic. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground. Set aside.
Make sure the pork chops are at room temperature, then liberally season them with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat the canola oil in a large ovensafe skillet or grill pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, sear the pork chops for about 2 minutes on each side.
Stick the pan in the oven to finish cooking the pork, 5 to 6 minutes. Depending on your oven, of course, and the thickness of your chops, this should result in a medium to medium-well chop, still slightly pink in the middle. If you prefer a more well-done chop, add a minute or 2 to the cooking time.
While the pork chops are in the oven, heat a large saute pan over high heat. Add the pancetta and herb mixture. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook the pancetta, stirring continuously to break up any large chunks, until all the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.
Serve the pork chops topped with the crispy herbed pancetta and rendered fat. Serve while hot and bubbling!