I know what you're talking about. For those of us who aren't Mexican it comes as serious mental collision the first time we have Mexican food that isn't, well, Mexican. No chiles, no cumin, no cheese, no beans. We don't have access to all the indigenous regional cuisines, and because we think we know Mexican food is, we never stop to realize they (of course) have a highly developed cuisine with European roots as well.
As to the pork chops, I think I put together something along the lines for which you're searching. It's a synthesis of two of the recipes I had with a recipe (actually four or five very similar recipes) I found searching Spanish language recipe sites. I finished this first draft today, and will try it myself sometime this or next week. If you make it before I do -- let me know what you did (you tweak everything!), and how it came out.
The idea looks great -- so thanks for pushing it. I'll save it to the CFG file. This seems like something RPMcMurphy would like too.
PORK CHOPS IN ORANGE (MEXICAN STYLE), aka
CHULETAS DE CERDO CON SALSA DE NARANJA
(Feeds 2 to 4, depending)
2 or 3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican, if possible)
Kosher salt and pepperIngredients, Pork Chops
4 pork chops, about 1/2" to 3/4" thick
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra orange juice, if needed
2 oz curacao or cointreau
2 tbs cold butter, cut in 4 pieces.Technique
Make a marinade by smashing the garlic, and combining these with the citrus juice, the oil, the oregano.
Salt and pepper the pork chops. Be very generous with the salt.
Add the pork chops to the marinade and turn them a few times so most of the salt goes into solution. Marinate the pork chops for about 1 hour, turning occasionally.
About ten minutes before cooking, remove the chops from the marinade, wipe them off, and set them aside to come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, peel one and a half of the oranges, completely removing the pith. Cut the orange(s) into slices, cover and reserve. Juice the remaining orange, and reserve the juice. You want about 1 cup of orange juice, total. Note: To peel "half an orange," cut the orange into three sections and peel the middle with a paring knife.
Heat a frying pan over a medium fire, add the olive oil to the pan, and when the pan comes to temp add the pork chops. Cook the pork chops until done, turning only once. Cooking time depends on thickness, but will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 to 7 minutes per side. Pork chops should be barely golden.
Remove the porkchops when they are cooked through, and hold (cover with foil if you like) on a preheated plate.
Add the orange slices to the pan and fry briefly on each side. They will be fragile and require careful handling. Remove the slices and plate them. Plate the pork chops on the orange slices. Alternatively, you may plate the slices on top of the chops.
Pour off any oil left in the pan. Return it to the fire, add the liqueur and deglaze. Add the orange juice, bring to the boil quickly, and reduce the liquid by about one third to one half. Lower the heat to low. Whisk in the butter in, piece by piece, adding each successive piece as the last one is about 2/3 incorporated. Stop adding butter when the sauce sets up, or you run out of butter -- whichever comes first.
Spoon a little of the sauce over the chops, reserving most of it for the plates themselves. Garnish each plate with a sprig of oregano.
Serve with pure de papa
aka mashed potatoes.
PS. This is an original recipe. You, the reader, have my permission to share this recipe as long as you credit it to me, Boar D. Laze. Please also mention my ultimately forthcoming book, COOK FOOD GOOD: American Cooking for Beginners and Intermediates.
PPS. This recipe was edited on 4/29 to reflect the experiences of the cooks in the discussion below.