Advocate-tested recipe

Pan-Seared Pork Chops With Multi-Colored Peppers

Serves 4 to 6. Recipe is reprinted from “Simple Asian Meals: Irresistibly Satisfying and Healthy Dishes for the Busy Cook” e_SCrt2012 by Nina Simonds. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. “Pork chops are a thrifty and versatile cut of meat admirably suited for a weenight dinner. I like to braise them with peppers, onions, a generous douse of oyster sauce, and a touch of chili paste for additonal flavor.”

6 bone-in pork chops (about 31/2 lbs.), trimmed of fat and gristle

3 tbls. soy sauce

6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

2 medium onions, peeled

1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded

1 orange bell pepper, cored and seeded

21/2 tbls. olive or canola oil

21/2 tbls. minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. hot chili paste, optional

2 tbls. rice wine or sake

1/2 lb. snow or snap peas, ends snapped and veiny strings removed

11/2 tbls. cornstarch mixed with 3 tbls. water

Braising Mixture: (combine in a small bowl)

2 cups chicken broth, preferably low-sodium

1/4 cup rice wine or sake

51/2 tbls. oyster sauce

2 tbls. fresh lemon juice

2 tsps. sugar

1. Place the pork chops in a bowl and add the soy sauce and smashed garlic. Rub the mixture over the surface of the pork chops and let sit. Cut the onions and red and orange peppers into thin julienne strips.

2. Heat 11/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large casserole dish or Dutch oven with a lid over medium-high heat until very hot, about 30 seconds. Drain the pork chops, reserving the marinade. Cook the pork chops, in 2 batches if necesary, until golden brown, 2 or 3 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.

3. Reheat the pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until hot, about 30 seconds. Add the onions, ginger, and chili paste, if using, and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add the reserved marinade and continue cooking for another minute. Add the red and orange peppers and the rice wine, partially cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the Braising Mixture, stir, and bring to a boil.

4. Add the pork chops and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the chops are tender and cooked through.

5. Add the snow or snap peas to the pot. Stir, cover and bring the liquid back to a boil. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly to prevent lumps, and cook until thickened. Serve the pork chops and peppers with steamed rice, quinoa or couscous.

Variations: Substitute 31/2 tablespoons chopped fermented, salted black beans for the oyster sauce, adding them with the chopped ginger, and prepare the recipe as directed.

Use boned, skinless chicken thighs instead of the pork and prepare the recipe as directed.