Breaded Pork Chops with Vinegar - Chuletas con Vinagre
- 8 (1-inch thick) loin pork chops (about 4 pounds)
- Fine sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Spicy Pineapple Vinegar, recipe follows
- 2 ripe pineapples
- 1/2 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon smashed fresh oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 20 garlic cloves, crushed
- 6 habanero peppers or chile peppers of choice, stems removed, peppers coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, or as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or as needed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl until foamy. Spread the flour and bread crumbs out in 2 separate shallow bowls. Dredge a chop in the flour to coat all sides. Tap off any excess flour. Coat the chop with egg and let it drain for a second or so over the bowl. Lay it in the bread crumbs and turn a couple of times, patting the crumbs onto the chop to adhere. Set the chop on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chops.
Pour 1/2-inch of canola oil into a large, wide skillet. Heat over medium heat until the tip of the handle of a wooden spoon gives off a lively sizzle (about 375 degrees F). Add half the pork chops to the oil and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer to an 11 by 15-inch baking dish or any baking dish that holds all the chops snugly, overlapping them along 1 side of the pan. Repeat with the remaining chops.
Spoon as much of the onions and peppers from the vinegar as you like (about 1/2 cup works for me) over the chops. Drizzle vinegar over the chops and bake until no trace of pink remains near the bone, about 25 minutes. Serve right away.
Spicy Pineapple Vinegar - Vinagre:
Cut the tops off the pineapples and discard. With a large knife, cut the rind off the pineapples leaving as little pineapple attached as possible. Put the rinds in a pot large enough to hold them comfortably and pour in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over low to medium heat and cook until the pineapple peel is very tender, about 30 minutes. Add water, if necessary, to keep the rinds submerged.
Meanwhile, put the onions, oregano, peppercorns, garlic, habanero or other chile pepper, vinegar, and salt in a large jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Strain the pineapple liquid into the jar. If there is not enough liquid to cover the ingredients, add more water to the pineapple and boil for 20 minutes. Taste and add a little more salt and/or a little vinegar, if you think it needs it. You can use it as soon as it cools, but it will get better as it sits.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
Recipe courtesy Daisy Martinez