Peanut-Crusted Pork Chops With Chile-Herb Salad
Note: Inspired by the bright, balanced flavors of Southeast Asia, these moist, ultra-flavorful pork chops, topped with a hot chile-spiked fresh herb salad, are easy and impressive. Fish sauce can be found in the "international" section of most grocery stores. From Meredith Deeds.
• 1/4 c. light brown sugar
• 1/4 c. fish sauce (see Note)
• 3 tbsp. lime juice
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 4 bone-in pork rib chops (about 1 1/4-in. thick; 2 1/4 lb. total)
• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
• 1/2 c. chopped lightly salted peanuts
• 1 tbsp. lime juice
• 1 tsp. fish sauce
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
• 1 Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced
• 3 c. cilantro, mint or parsley or a combination of all
• Lime wedges
To prepare the pork chops: Whisk brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and pepper in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Using a fork, pierce pork chops all over and place in a large zip-top bag. Add marinade and turn the bag a few times to coat. Marinate pork chops in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Remove pork chops from marinade and pat both sides dry with paper towels. Discard marinade.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Arrange the pork chops in a single layer in the skillet (do this in 2 batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding). Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until browned. Turn and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Top each pork chop with some of the chopped peanuts. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, or until pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Transfer to serving plates and let rest for 5 minutes.
To prepare the salad: In a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, fish sauce and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the shallots and chile and toss to coat. Let sit for 2 minutes. Add herbs and toss to combine.
Place pork chops on serving plates. Top with herb salad and serve with lime wedges on the side.