Note: Looking for pork chops that are ultra-moist? Brine them for two hours in the refrigerator in a mixture of 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of kosher salt. When you're ready to cook them, just discard the brine, pat them dry with paper towels and proceed with the recipe.
About the author: Jennifer Olvera is a veteran food and travel writer and author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago." Follow her on Twitter @olverajennifer.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:35 minutes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium red pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 small red onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon minced celery
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 pickled pepperoncini, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced green olives
- 2 tablespoons minced kalamata olives
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 butterflied pork chops, about 6 ounces each.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add red pepper, onion, celery, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add pepperoncini, oregano, vinegar, green olives, and black olives and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel. Return pan to the stove-top and heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in pan over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add chops and cook without moving until well-seared on first side, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip chops, then top with muffuletta mixture and transfer to the oven to finish cooking. When pork chops are still rosy and juicy in the center (145°F for medium) remove from oven, transfer to a plate, and allow let for 10 minutes. Serve.